The Longhorns trailed by only a single run, 7-6, heading into the bottom of the 9th, but Washington State pitcher Ross Humes closed out the game by knocking down all three Texas batters in order, including two strikeouts. The Longhorns led 5-0 through five innings before Washington State finally got on the board. That's when the mistakes started slowly killing the Longhorn lead. Texas head coach Augie Garrido, clearly not in the best mood as he exited the Texas dugout, said his team started coasting more than they should have after five.
"After the 5th inning, we went into cruise control and we lost our competitive edge and we lost our momentum," said Garrido. "When you lose your competitive edge, everything that seems to be so easy and smooth goes backward on you. People make errors that never make errors. People strikeout that never strikeout."
The Longhorns had two key errors (and a dropped fly that should have been scored an E) in the game and Texas batters were fanned six times by their opponents on the mound. Garrido was complimentive of his opponents' ability to maintain the momentum shift, but was frustrated with his team's inability to get off the field.
"We gave them more than three outs in all the innings they scored. We couldn't get them off the field," said Garrido. "One of the innings it took six outs to get off the field. You put that all together, compliment them (Washington State) for their competitiveness and their desire to win, and it was a momentum shift."
The "six outs" Garrido refers to was the top of the 8th, where the Cougars did most of their damage. Texas still held a 6-3 lead going into the 8th. Then Washington State scored four runs in the inning, but three of them were unearned, as errors kept Texas in the field for too much of the game.
Sophomore right fielder Kyle Russell, who went 1-for-4 in the game with one walk, said his team was not in a cheerful mood after failing to get the sweep, but says the Longhorns only need to worry about taking in game-by-game.
"We're not very happy about it in the club house, as you can tell," said Russell, "but Coach Garrido said we've got to take it week-by-week. This week's over with. We'll pick it up next week and go from there."
The Longhorns are off for a week before their next game, a 2:30 match-up with Oral Roberts at Disch-Falk Field on Friday, March 2nd. The contest will be the beginning of a three-game weekend set with Oral Roberts, with Saturday's game starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday's beginning at 1 p.m.