Baseball: No Tourney Title For Texas

For every player wearing the Burnt Orange at Ameriquest Field, Saturday represented uncharted territory. The Horns, Big 12 Tournament champs in both '02 and '03, tasted elimination for the first time since '01 as Oklahoma State swamped UT's depleted pitching staff for eight runs in the sixth en route to an 8-2 win. The No. 4 seed Cowboys will face No. 7 seed Missouri for the tourney title Sunday. Regular season champ Texas (50-13) will watch on TV and then wait for Monday's NCAA selection show.

"When we've lost games during the season, we've always bounced back with a lot more confidence and will to win," Curtis Thigpen said. "We always want to win, but this will serve us well. Now we'll just go back to Austin and get ready to take care of business."

Despite the pedestrian 2-2 mark in Arlington, the Horns are still in prime position to grab one of the top eight national seeds, which will ensure both a regional and a super regional (given a regional win) at the Disch.

Through the first half of Saturday's game, it appeared as if Texas might stretch its stay in the Metroplex.

Randy Boone, making just his fourth start of the year, showed none of the big game jitters that fellow freshman Kyle McCulloch experienced on Friday, retiring the Cowboys in order on five pitches in the first and then holding OSU scoreless over the next four frames.

Oklahoma State starter Scott Richmond held the Horns in check through three, but Thigpen led off the bottom of the fourth with a blast to deep left center to give Texas a 1-0 lead and David Maroul hit his second homer in two games, this one a solo shot to left in the fourth to put the Horns in front 2-zip. Maroul would later prove to be UT's most effective relief pitcher in his first-ever mound appearance as a Longhorn, striking out five of the seven batters he faced in two innings of scoreless work.

Boone, though, couldn't hold the Cowboys down in the decisive sixth. Actually, no one that stepped on the mound for the Horns in the sixth had much luck getting outs. Boone gave up three runs in the inning -- the first two on a no-doubt dinger from Okie State slugger Josh Fields -- before giving way to Kyle Yates, who failed to record even one out while surrendering three runs before Buck Cody took over and recorded the final two outs of the frame, but not before OSU plated two more runs to make it 8-2 and basically put the game out of reach of the inconsistent -- and, today, off -- Texas O.

The Horns totaled seven hits to the Cowboys' 13. Both teams left eight men on base.

"We had our opportunities," Augie Garrido said. "But it would take away from Oklahoma State's performance to make excuses. We gave it our best shot. We just came up short, and we accept that."

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