On Sunday, hurler Adrian Alaniz got the starting nod for Texas with the chance to clinch the sweep but, a week after pitching a no-hitter against Oklahoma, the freshman faced an ornery bunch of Cowboys determined to salvage at least one this weekend. RF Corey Brown jumped on Alaniz early with a two-out, round-tripper in the home half of the first inning. The Horns knotted the affair at 1-1 in the top of the third when 1B Chance Wheeless's dropped safety squeeze bunt plated Nick Peoples from third.
OSU reclaimed in the lead in the bottom of the third thanks to Chris Gutierrez leadoff double, followed by a sac bunt, followed by Ty Wright's RBI single. The Cowboys added an insurance run before Alaniz could finally work himself out of a bases-loaded jam. Alaniz settled down and began fanning batters but his teammates could not produce the timely hits as Texas left the bases loaded three of the first four innings. The Horns stranded 11 on the day.
C Taylor Teagarden led off the top of the eighth with a solo shot to complete the scoring at 3-2. Peoples drew a leadoff walk in the Horns' final at-bat to put the tying run on base, but OSU closer Scott Richmond (whom the Horns roughed up in Saturday's game) retired the next three batters he faced.
Alaniz struck out eight during seven innings of work but lost for the first time as a Longhorn to see his overall mark drop to 3-1. In fact, it was the youngster's first loss in 51 outings, dating back to his prep star days at Sinton, Texas.
The Horns took the series with Saturday's 12-8 slugfest in which Texas broke a ninth inning tie with three home runs. 3B David Maroul ignited the uprising with a solo shot against Richmond. CF Drew Stubbs and 2B Seth Johnston also connected on consecutive round-trippers. It was Stubbs' tenth homer of the season and fourth in the past six games. OSU then loaded the bases on three one-out singles but Wheeless responded with a clutch diving grab to turn the game-ending double play.
The Horns took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth. That's when starter Randy Boone gave up a pair of hits before reliever Clayton Stewart was touched for three more as the Pokes put up a six-spot to stake a 7-4 lead. But the Horns responded in the bottom of the sixth with what would be the first of two, four-run innings to reclaim the lead. The Horns got some help from a shaky OSU defense as Peoples scored from third on a wild pitch while Carson Kainer reached home on a passed ball. The hard-hitting Johnston contributed an RBI single while Will Crouch was credited with a sacrifice RBI. Rusty Ryal's RBI single knotted the affair at eight in the home half of the frame before the ninth inning fireworks.
Closer J. Brent Cox (6-1) picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings during the Cowboys' final at-bats. Saturday's hit parade saw the teams combine for 28 safeties (15 for Texas) and for seven errors (four for OSU). Cowboy coach Frank Anderson, who was Texas' pitching coach until June, 2003, was ejected for arguing with the umpires.
The Horns slipped by the Pokes, 4-3, in the Friday opener after surviving a shaky defensive start. Kyle McCulloch improved his mark to 7-2 on the season after going the distance for the second time in 2005. The right-hander gave up seven hits while fanning seven. OSU took the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the third with SS Chris Gutierrez's solo-shot. Texas immediately responded when Johnston parked the first pitch of the third inning over the left-field wall. Later in the inning, Crouch's sac fly plated Teagarden with what turned out to be the game's winning run.
The Horns now return home to the Disch for a 6:15 p.m. meeting with Texas State on Wednesday.