The ill-fated inning was indicative of the kind of defensive lapses that befuddled the Horns throughout the weekend. The Horns uncharacteristically committed seven errors in four contests this weekend to finish the season at 46-16.
"The fundamentals of the game got away from us," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "At different times and at different ways, there were times when momentum shifts could have occurred but they didn't. You could summarize it by saying that it all came from the same spirit: we were trying too hard. And that's a hard thing to balance. Baseball is a complex game because you're trying to balance a person put in the middle of all of the excitement in trying to stay relaxed to balance their performance. It's really hard to do."
Texas plated a run but left the bases loaded in their last at-bat. It marked the second consecutive year that a Big 12 Champion Texas team was eliminated from its own Regional. But Garrido, and several Texas players, continued to insist that this year's team bears little resemblance to the 2006 that posted a disappointing 1-2 mark in the post-season. The difference, Garrido said, is exemplified by the non-quantifiable attribute of "attitude."
The Longhorns were stunned (Will Gallagher/Inside Texas)
"You didn't see players quit," Garrido continued. "Most of the mistakes we made were errors related to tension and playing too hard."
The Horns outhit the Anteaters, 13-10. LHP Keith Shinaberry would shoulder the loss for the Horns.
The Horns pitched Joseph Krebs in the bottom of the seventh while Irvine countered with First-Team All-Big West RHP Scott Gorgen who went the distance in recording the win against Texas Saturday. RHP Randy Boone tied a school record with his 160th appearance in the Anteater eighth. He got no help from his defense.
Two miscues -- a fielding error on 1B Chance Wheeless and a throwing error on RF Kyle Russell -- plated an unearned Anteater run. A hit batsman put runners on the corners and Boone was done after one-third inning. LHP Pat McCrory became Texas' third pitcher in two innings. After recording a fly-out to right, McCrory surrendered a two-RBI double and the Anteaters had all the separation they would need. It was the third three-run inning of the rain-delayed ballgame for Irvine.
RHP Blair Erickson took the hill to protect a 9-5 lead while Texas was down to its final three outs. Travis Tucker tried to get things started with a leadoff single to left before Jordan Danks laced a 3-2 pitch into deep left-center for a standup double. Kyle Russell went down swinging before Chance Wheeless drew a bases-loading walk on four pitches. That brought Bradley Suttle 's hot bat (7-for-13 in the Regional) to the plate. The sophomore drew an unintentional walk to make it a 9-6 contest.
That was as good as it got for the Horns. PH Clay Van Hook (whose last hit was March 18 against Baylor) went down swinging before Chais Fuller grounded out to second.
"I really felt like this team had it in us," said 1B Chance Wheeless, whose Longhorn career drew to a close. "We didn't play up to our capability."