By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
OKLAHOMA CITY –
One team was going to pack its bags and head south on Interstate 35. Taylor Jungmann made sure it wasn’t Texas.
The junior right hander stretched his record to 13-0 with a masterful one-hitter as the top-seeded Longhorns bounced back with a 6-1 loser’s bracket victory over Baylor Thursday in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship.
Texas (41-14), which lost to Missouri in its opening game Wednesday, sticks around and at 3:15 p.m. Friday will face the loser of the Oklahoma State-Missouri game. The Bears (29-26) head home to Waco and will await their NCAA tournament fate.
Baylor took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning. A walk, a steal, a wild pitch and a single by Max Muncy gave the Bears an early edge. Muncy’s single wound up a lonely digit in the box score. Over the next eight innings, Jungmann allowed three walks as he threw 130 pitches.
"Taylor Jungmann is really, really good," Baylor coach Steve Smith said. "I always enjoy watching him pitch. It's more enjoyable when it's against somebody else but he's very good."
The last one-hit complete game in the Big 12 Championship was authored by Nebraska’s Chad Wiles in a 5-0 victory over Oklahoma State in 1999.
"It was a little rough early, but we made an adjustment around the third inning," Jungmann said. "It was smooth sailing from there. Toward the end I was getting a little bit tired and the command wasn’t as good."
The Longhorns took control with a four-run fourth inning fueled by a Baylor miscue and perfect small-ball execution.
Big 12 freshman of the year Erich Weiss started the rally with a single up the middle. Paul Montalbano bunted and his sacrifice effort turned into a fielder’s choice when Bears shortstop Jake Miller failed to keep his foot on the bag at second. Jonathan Walsh followed with a sacrifice bunt that ended up as a bunt hit to load the bases.
Cole Walla then drove home two runs with a single and Brandon Loy capped the four-run frame with a two-run double to left.
"I think the game today was energized by the players’ attitude," said UT coach Augie Garrido, whose Longhorns had lost four consecutive Big 12 Championship games. "The players got together last night on their own, called their own meeting, made their own commitments to play Longhorn baseball and that is taking it inning-by-inning and pitch-by-pitch and making the best effort in whatever role you have on the team.
"The net result was that we played a pretty good game."