Prior to Tuesday night’s game, an early inning deficit was enough to drain the energy out of the Texas bats.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Texas State catcher Ryan Newman hammered a pitch by junior Kacy Clemens over the right field wall to tie score at four, and it looked as though the trend would continue another game.
It took 11 innings, but the Longhorns were eventually able to reverse the Bobcat’s fortunes and pull out a 10–4 come-from-behind win on the road.
Texas floundered offensively after Newman’s home run, and it appeared that the Bobcats would use Texas’ offensive lull to force their way back onto the scoreboard and hand the Longhorns a 0.500 record.
But freshman bullpen ace Chase Shugart pitched out of jams in the ninth and 10th to keep the Longhorns in the game until the offense could explode back into life in the 11th inning.
After four innings of offensive silence, the Longhorns kicked off the top half of the 11th with a hit by pitch, a bunt single and a four-pitch walk to load the bases with nobody out.
The Longhorns had faced similar situations in extra innings against Stanford earlier in the schedule and failed to produce.
This time around, things were different.
Sophomore nine-hitter Jake McKenzie gave Texas the lead with a RBI walk, and then junior center fielder Zane Gurwitz, who went 5-6 on the night, drove home the win with an RBI single to put Texas up two.
Texas State lost all pitching composure after that.
A two-run double from redshirt sophomore Bret Boswell, followed by a wild pitch and a sac fly off the bat of junior Tres Barrera closed out the six-run 11th and put the seal on Texas’ first come-from-behind win of the season.
The comeback win was not the only important first for the Longhorns.
Right handed pitcher Morgan Cooper made his first start of the season. Although the redshirt sophomore did not have his best stuff, he was still able to end the night with just two runs in four innings pitched.
Cooper showed flashes of the talent that made him a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman team in 2014 before missing all of last season with Tommy John surgery. The redshirt sophomore was able to rear back and blaze fastballs past a few helpless swings, but command and composure were lacking early on.
Cooper walked a pair of hitters with two outs in the second inning before surrendering an RBI single to Bobcat catcher Jared Huber and balking in a run to put the Longhorns in an early 2-0 hole.
But for the first time in 2016, the offense was able to rebound and prevent the Longhorns from falling back to 0.500 before beginning its toughest stretch of the season.