Pitchers struggle as Longhorns fall to Arkansas, 11-4

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Photo Credit: Elias Huerta

UFCU Disch-Falk Field was loud Tuesday night as the Longhorns took on the Arkansas Razorbacks. However, a familiar “Texas Fight” wasn’t what echoed through the field — instead, Arkansas’ “Hog Chant” rang throughout as the Razorbacks took down Texas, 11-4.

In a two-inning rally, the Razorbacks pummeled Texas’ defense with two home runs and 10 RBIs. It wasn’t until the Longhorns went to pitcher Owen Meaney in the bullpen that they were able to fight off Arkansas’ offense.

Texas started out with Jack Neely on the mound for his first start of the season. Though the pitcher had a smooth first inning, Neely unraveled in the second inning and gave the Razorbacks a huge advantage.

In three at-bats to start the second inning, the Razorbacks were able to tally two hits and one run, giving them an early lead. However, the Longhorns found themselves in a bases-loaded situation after Neely gave up back-to-back walks.

Arkansas’ left fielder Christian Franklin took advantage of the situation and hit a grand slam. Texas found themselves down 5-0 early while Arkansas fans rallied around the away team.

After the homer, Texas head coach David Pierce delayed the game and asked the umpires to review the play under the pretense that Franklin passed the runner on first. The umpires’ call stood.

However, the Razorbacks’ offensive reign was not over as shortstop Casey Martin hit another home run deep into right center. Neely faced two more batters at the beginning of the third. In all, he allowed eight runs, five hits and three walks. He only had one strikeout.

In the third inning, Pierce reached into the bullpen and called on pitcher Donny Diaz for relief. He, too, was unable to contain the Razorback offense. After two innings and 12 batters, Diaz left the mound with five hits, three wild pitches with the score sitting at a nearly inescapable 11-0.

The Longhorns found success in the fifth inning, though, with Meaney. They would leave the freshman in for the remaining five innings, where Meaney had two hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

Texas tallied its four runs in the fourth inning. A single by center fielder Austin Todd and a double by designated hitter Zach Zubia put two Longhorn runners on base. First baseman Tate Shaw brought both runners home after he doubled down the right-field line, giving the Longhorns two runs.

The last two runs came by catcher Caston Peter, who homered into left field. Peter replaced Michael McCann earlier that inning.

The Longhorns are set to face the Razorbacks again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for their second and final game of the series.