FORT WORTH, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns baseball team couldn’t close out the sweep against TCU on Monday, dropping the series finale 15-7 at Lupton Stadium.
While the game didn’t turn out the way the Longhorns wanted, Tanner Witt made his return to the mound after he had Tommy John surgery early last season. He started and pitched 2/3 of an inning, 23 pitches, before Heston Tole took over. Witt allowed three runs on two hits with a walk and faced six batters.
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Texas head coach David Pierce said Witt was nervous and that TCU’s ballpark was “a tough environment to get his first start back.”
“He’s been such a great teammate, I think it was important for his teammates to be behind him, and they were,” Pierce said. “It just didn’t work out the way he wanted. He probably rushed off the mound a little bit, which is normal, there’s a lot of adrenaline going. It was a big day for him. We’ll continue getting him ready because he can help us on the back end.”
With Witt operating as the de facto opener for the game, the Longhorns tried to stitch the game together with eight pitchers, but they allowed 19 hits and walked six in the process. The Horned Frogs took a 6-2 lead after the third inning and then blew it wide open with seven runs in the fourth.
Peyton Powell and Tanner Carlson accounted for half of Texas’ 12 hits with three apiece, and Eric Kennedy and Garret Guillemette hit home runs.
Guillemette swatted a 2-run homer to left-center in the first to give the Longhorns an early lead, but that didn’t last long after the Horned Frogs played three in the bottom half. Kennedy’s round-tripper came in the fifth, a solo shot he pulled to right field to make the score 13-3 in favor of TCU.
Horned Frogs second baseman Tre Richardson went 4-for-6 and designated hitter Kurtis Byrne drove in five runs. Shortstop Anthony Silva went 3-for-5 with a double and left fielder Logan Maxwell went 3-for-5 with a home run. Just three of TCU’s 19 hits were for extra bases.
Despite the loss, Texas still won the series 2-1, and the Longhorns badly needed the result after being swept at home by Oklahoma, and Pierce put it in perspective afterward.
“It’s never fun when you lose the third game when you’re in a position to sweep, but you learn from it and move on,” Pierce said. “They took care of business and hit it head-on and didn’t run from it. We got good results for the weekend.”
The Longhorns (30-16, 10-8 Big 12 Conference) will get a day off Tuesday and then prepare for a weekend Big 12 series in Lawrence, Kansas against the Kansas Jayhawks beginning Friday.