AUSTIN(KXAN) — It’s hard to imagine that the team that swept then No. 1 LSU or opened Big 12 play by winning two of three from Texas Tech would be in this position.
Texas (25-25,6-14) sits in last place in the Big 12 which means they go to their final conference series needing a sweep over Oklahoma to climb out of the conference cellar and earn a trip to the conference tournament without help.
If Texas does not sweep, but can win two out of three games, then they need Kansas to sweep Kansas State to earn a trip to the tournment in Oklahoma City.
Texas has lost eight of their last nine conference games including sweeps at Oklahoma State and at Kansas. Overall, Texas has lost 10 of their last 11 games. The Longhorns were 4-4 in conference play after their first three series, losing the final game to Baylor to weather after leading 6-0 in the second inning.
The conference trouble started with a 6-4 loss to Kansas State, after winning the middle game of the series the Horns were shutout 2-0 in the series finale. The real heartache came in a three-game conference stretch starting with the final game of the Oklahoma State series. After getting blown out in the first two games by a combined score of 25-2, Texas scored five unanswered runs to take a 10-9 lead into the ninth inning. Oklahoma State scored two in the bottom of the 9th for the sweep.
Next up was West Virginia where Texas lost late game leads in each of the first two games before avoiding the series sweep with a 10-2 win.
Close games have been a big problem for the Longhorns. Texas has won three of their six conference games by eight runs or more. In their 14 Big 12 losses, six have been by one run and six more have been by four runs or less.
UT’s only hope of making it back to the NCAA tournament is to win the Big 12 Conference tournament and earn that automatic berth, but for the first time in a long time things need to go right for Texas this weekend.