AUSTIN (KXAN) — No. 2 Texas fell short of its goal of adding a Big 12 tournament championship to go along with its share of the regular season title after losing to Oklahoma State 5-4 Saturday in the semifinals.
However, the Longhorns are still sitting pretty, going into the NCAA Tournament regionals and (potentially) super regionals.
Texas and Oklahoma State were tied at four heading to the top of the 9th inning, but Texas reliever Aaron Nixon gave up a bases loaded walk for the Cowboys’ go-ahead run.
It was a tough way for the Longhorns to lose, but they remain optimistic about Nixon and the pitching staff in general as they will continue into postseason play next weekend.
“Couldn’t pull it out there at the end, but we all trust Aaron Nixon,” Texas infielder Zach Zubia said. “It’s just a bad day for him, but we trust him. Moving on, we got to have him having the ball, ready to go.”
“He [Nixon] is a very confident kid, he trusts his work, I thought he was a little tentative pitching to Encarnacion there, but the guy can change the game as well so I understand that,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “You know we pushed him a little bit back-to-back days, I understand that but he wants the ball and I like that.”
Texas now looks ahead to the regional next weekend, which they will almost certainly host at UFCU Disch-Falk Field as a national seed.
The Longhorns put together an excellent regular season resume’ and are expected to be a Top 8 national seed when the bracket is released Monday morning. A Top 8 national seed will put UT in position to host the regional and super regionals in Austin.
“Who’s not excited for a rocking Disch-Falk? That’s gonna be awesome,” Zubia added. “It’s gonna be awesome to get back to Austin, get back in our own beds for a couple of days. I hope the whole city of Austin is at our games.”
“Hopefully, we have great weather and a great crowd so I just want them to enjoy it,” Pierce explained. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on them, for sure, and I don’t want them to look at it like we have to win because we’re not very good when we think like that, we have to go play.”
Texas will find out their seeding during the NCAA selection show, which will take place Monday at 11 a.m.