That was never more evident in Saturday’s game, where Texas was dominated by California 12-2 only a day after defeating they defeated the Bears 13-3.
“This is the classic example of the power of momentum,” said head coach Augie Garrido. “That’s the beauty of it. That’s what we talked about – momentum from pitch to pitch, and that’s what we battled for. Overnight’s a long time compared to between innings.”
Texas lost the momentum from the very beginning of the game. It fell behind by four runs in the first inning and Cal never looked back.
The Bears jumped all over freshman Parker French out of the gates, with the first three runners in their lineup reaching base, and that led to a two- run single in the next at bat to start the scoring. A bunt single by the next batter loaded the bases, once again, and after a double play another runner Bear runner crossed the plate. The inning was then capped off by another single, putting Cal up by four.
French’s struggles on the mound didn’t stop in the first, however. In three more innings of work he gave up three more runs, and when he exited the game in the fifth inning the Longhorns were down 7-0.
“It wasn’t my best day,” French said. “I think I just kept battling, missed some spots, missed some locations, which I was think was key. You just have to learn from this. They had the momentum from the first pitch and it worked in the favor the whole game.”
His poor performance wasn’t aided by error prone day by the defense. Texas committed three errors in the field, and it led to four of the Bears’ runs while French was on the mound to be unearned.
That slow start defined Texas’ day, and it was never able to mount much of a comeback after the Bear’s blistering beginnings.
After French left the game Texas was able to push across three runs, the only problem was Cal scored five more from that point, as well.
“You’re going to have a game like this,” said senior Jordan Etier. “The biggest thing you can do is learn what we did wrong, how it felt, and come out and change our attitude and fix it the next game we have the opportunity to.”
That opportunity comes tomorrow when Texas will square off with Cal at 1 p.m. in the rubber game of the series.