ARLINGTON, Texas — The Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated the Texas Longhorns, 8-1, in the first game of Saturday’s play at the Philips 66 2022 Big 12 Baseball Tournament. Here are three thoughts from the game.
Jake Thompson Powers Up
He is Oklahoma State’s best hitter by average, after all. Thompson should have played a role in this win. He took it to Texas early with a two-run home run in the first inning. Then, in the bottom of the second, he doubled down the left-field line to score two more runs.
By the end of the morning Thompson was 2-for-4 with four RBI and two extra-base hits.
Thompson entered Saturday’s elimination game with a relatively benign line at the plate — a .250 batting average with 3 RBI, but no extra-base hits. Thompson is a guy with 13 home runs this season — make it 14 — and the second-best slugging percentage on the team (.620) behind Griffin Doersching (.677).
His power surge followed the one Doersching provided in Friday’s win over TCU, as his estimated 450-foot home run to center field fueled the Cowboys’ comeback win.
Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday talked about his team’s turnaround when it came to their power after Friday’s game. Seems like Thompson decided it was his turn.
The Morehouse Miscalculation
Texas started right-hander Zane Morehouse on Saturday morning and it misfired spectacularly.
By the time Morehouse left after two innings, Oklahoma State pinned six runs and seven hits on him. He struck out for, but he gave up a home run and three doubles as the Longhorns had no choice but to go their bullpen. He threw just 47 pitches. He gave up more hits than in any of his previous 17 games this season.
Perhaps Texas should have seen this coming.
The majority of his appearances were against non-Power 5 programs like Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Sam Houston, Texas State, The Citadel, Stephen F. Austin, Air Force, UT-Rio Grande Valley and Houston Baptist. His longest appearance this season against a Power 5 program was his four innings against Texas Tech. He did hold the Red Raiders hitless that game on March 26.
But Morehouse’s trend line going into this game was troubling, too. In his last three games against West Virginia, Sam Houston and Kansas, he threw 10 innings and gave up 12 hits, seven runs and five walks. He did strike out 12.
Oklahoma State’s bats took him for a ride.
Regardless of the strategy that Texas head coach David Pierce was implementing, Morehouse’s start wasn’t anything close to what the Longhorns needed.
Well, guess what? The Longhorns and the Cowboys have to play each other again at 4 p.m. on Saturday. It will be a Big 12 Tournament rubber match. Texas won their first matchup, 4-0, earlier this week as Longhorns starter Pete Hansen and reliever Tristan Stevens combined to shut out the Cowboys. Holliday told reporters on Friday that in a tournament like this, at some point, you have to “beat a Pete Hansen.” It will be interesting to see who each team puts on the mound for this one. It’s a win-or-go-home game with a berth in Sunday’s Big 12 title game on the line.
Matthew Postins can be found on Twitter @PostinsPostcard