Longhorns Fall to Red Raiders, 4-2

After Friday night's nine-run performance, things finally appeared to be shaping up for the Longhorns offense. Texas struck quickly again on Saturday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off veteran Texas Tech starter A.J. Ramos. But Ramos and reliever Chad Bettis held the Longhorns scoreless for the game's final eight innings, and they helped carry the Red Raiders to a 4-2 victory.

After Friday night's nine-run performance, things finally appeared to be shaping up for the Longhorns offense. Texas struck quickly again on Saturday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off veteran Texas Tech starter A.J. Ramos.

Longhorns starting pitcher Brandon Workman also began the game with a bang, striking out two batters in a perfect first inning.

But Ramos and reliever Chad Bettis held the Longhorns scoreless for the game's final eight innings, and they helped carry the Red Raiders to a 4-2 victory, knotting the three-game series at one win apiece.

With two outs and nobody on in the top of the third, Workman allowed a single to Tech shortstop Joey Kenworthy. Workman then plunked three-hole hitter Michael Reed, setting the stage for first baseman Chris Richburg, who entered the game with a team-leading eight home runs and 29 runs batted in.

Richburg came through with the game's biggest hit, belting a three-run homer over the fence in right-center field, giving the Red Raiders a 3-2 lead.

Workman again retired the first two batters of the fourth before allowing a double and a run-scoring single off the bat of Tech catcher Jeremy Mayo. The hurler exited the game after a season-low four innings, surrendering four runs on six hits.

"I think he was sharp early and struggled late," said Pitching Coach Skip Johnson of Workman's performance. "He lost his breaking ball and tried to get back – he lost his rhythm. You're not going to have your best stuff every time you're out there. You've got to work through that."

Texas had its share of opportunities against Ramos and Bettis, but perhaps none were better than the bottom of the third. With the Longhorns trailing by one run, Brandon Belt was caught stealing at second base while attempting to advance on a potential wild pitch.

Cameron Rupp drew a walk on the next pitch, but he was eventually thrown out at home while trying to score on a Kevin Keyes double. The aggressive baserunning ended not only the inning, but also what would be the Longhorns' most promising rally of the game.

Ramos found his groove after the shaky third inning, and he ended up surrendering just two runs in six innings of work.

"Going into the first inning, I realized that I didn't have my best stuff," said Ramos. "My slider and everything was up. I couldn't locate my fastball…But as the game went on, I learned to work with what I had and just tried to make them put the ball in play as much as possible."

The senior hurler ended his outing with a bang, striking out Texas sluggers Cameron Rupp, Kevin Keyes, and Preston Clark consecutively in the sixth inning.

"My slider started working a little better," Ramos said of his final inning. "Also what helped me out a little bit was that I was cramping up in my calf, which helped me stay back a little more and not jump as much."

The Longhorns bullpen did its job on Saturday, as Keith Shinaberry and Taylor Jungmann combined to keep the Red Raiders off the scoreboard for the game's final five innings.

Just as the Texas hurlers were doing their job, Ramos and Bettis matched them step-for-step, keeping the Longhorns from advancing a runner past first base after the fourth inning. In the end, the duo proved to be too much to handle for the Texas offense.

The Longhorns and Red Raiders will face off in the rubber match at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Sophomore Cole Green (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will look to remain perfect on the season, while Texas Tech is expected to go with former UT signee Nathan Karns (1-2, 5.57 ERA).


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