Tigers Sweep Longhorns Out of Missouri

Missouri (29-24, 12-15 in Big 12) had already clinched the No. 7 spot in the Big 12 tournament and was looking for some momentum heading in the conference tournament. They certainly got it, winning 7-5 in a back and forth battle on Sunday with Texas (38-18, 19-7 in league play).

The Longhorns had already secured the regular season conference championship and the top spot in the conference tournament and is essentially a lock to host an NCAA regional. What they were not able to get was their first ever 20th Big 12 win as the Horns were swept for the first time since the season opening series against San Diego.

The Longhorns struck first scoring two runs in the top of the second when catcher Preston Clark fired a ball into right field, bringing Kyle Russell and Hunter Harris home on the two RBI single.

However, the early lead was in serious jeopardy in the bottom half of the second. The Longhorn's starter, Kyle McCulloch faced bases loaded, no outs jam. The Tiger's center fielder, Evan Frey, reached fielder's choice when left fielder Zane Taylor was thrown out at home for the first out of the inning. The second out was a little trickier to get. Gary Arndt slapped the ball to short, but Chais Fuller bobbled the ball allowing Hunter Mense to score. Brock Bond, who was on second at the time, advanced to third and tried then tried to score off of the error but was thrown out at the plate. The next batter, catcher J.C. Field, struck out to end the inning as Texas escaped the jam while only giving up a single run.

Texas grabbed another run in the top of the third on a Bradley Suttle SAC fly, but in the fourth, the Longhorns had a major case of déjà vu. Ardnt was at the plate again and hit a grounder to third and the fielder, this time third baseman Nick Peoples, lost control of the ball. Mense scored again on another error. Of course, Bond held up at third, perhaps learning from his earlier mistake. The caution paid off, when he was brought home by Field in the next at-bat with an RBI single. Texas got the second out when Field was picked off at first by Texas catcher Preston Clark, but gave up another run as Arndt trotted home on a wild pitch.

It was 4-3 after four innings, but Texas scored runs in the top of the fifth and seventh to take a 5-4 lead.

On back-to-back three-up-three innings for McCulloch and the Texas D, it looked like the Longhorns were going to close out the regular season with a win. But in the bottom of the eighth, Missouri put up three runs on RBIs from a couple of the same names that had gotten the horns earlier in the game: Frey and Arndt.

Austin Wood (4-2) officially got the loss for Texas. Wood pitched one and a third innings and gave up three runs to the eight batters he faced. Taylor Parker (2-4) was the winning pitcher. Parker gave up one run on one hit in his three and a third innings pitched.

On Sunday evening, the Longhorns left Columbia, Mo. for Oklahoma City and the Big 12 tournament. Texas will face Texas Tech Wednesday afternoon for the first game of the Big 12 tournament.

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