If there is such a thing as a trap game in college baseball, Texas’ series against Nebraska this weekend would be the perfectexample of one.
The Longhorns are tied with Texas A&M for first place in the Big 12, while the Cornhuskers sit in a tie with Missouri for last in the conference.
Still, the Longhorns understand the importance of every conference game for the rest of the season and know they can’t afford to slip up even once to give the Aggies the edge.
“Any series in the Big 12 is going to be tough for us,” said junior shortstop Brandon Loy. “We know we’re going to go in and have our hands full.”
Texas’ offense has slowly progressed throughout the season, and the Longhorns are now ranked fifth in in-conference batting, with a .258 average. Loy is hitting .333 in Big 12 play and is tied for the conference lead in doubles, with nine.
Freshman third baseman Erich Weiss continues to lead the Longhorns in most offensive categories and leads the Big 12 in walks, with 18 in 21 games, and in on-base percentage, with .510.
Nebraska is last in the conference in batting, with a .229 average, but junior infielder Cody Asche has 12 home runs and 26 RBIs in Big 12 play, which lead the conference. Taylor Jungmann takes the mound tonight for Texas, so the junior will have first honors at stopping Asche. Jungmann has fared well against the Big 12’s best hitters this season, holding Oklahoma’s Garrett Buechele to an 0-for-4 mark last Friday.
“I don’t look at any batter differently,” Jungmann said. “I just go out there and play my game.”
Cole Green will start for Texas on Saturday for the third consecutive week, but Texas head coach Augie Garrido isn’t sure who will pitch Sunday’s game. It will be one of two left handers, Sam Stafford or Hoby Milner, but Stafford struggled last Sunday against the Sooners, making it difficult for Texas to complete the three-game sweep. Texas A&M doesn’t play a conference series this weekend, so it’s important for the Longhorns to gain as much ground on the Aggies before their showdown in two weeks.
“It’s one of those deals where we’re going into a hostile environment and a great atmosphere in Lincoln,” Loy said. “We’ve got some momentum right now, so hopefully, we can come out with a sweep because that would be huge for us.”