Pierce looks to make changes after 2-0 loss to Kansas State

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Photo Credit: Eddie Gaspar

UFCU Disch-Falk Field looked different on Sunday afternoon as dogs of all shapes and sizes crowded the seats alongside their owners. Bark at the Park brought different personalities to the Disch — some were decked out in Longhorn gear, while others tried their best to recreate Bevo’s signature look. But not even the Air Buds of Austin could help the Longhorns secure a series win against Kansas State as they were shutout 2-0.

“They say adversity builds character and makes you tougher so we’ll find out what this team is made of,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “Just a frustrating day. A great day to hit, awesome crowd, perfect day, we let a lot of people down today. Mostly ourselves.”

Before their series against the Longhorns, the Wildcats were 1–5 in Big 12 play and 14–20 overall. Now, Kansas State heads back home to Manhattan with two wins, and leaves the Longhorns with a series loss after failed at-bats and lackluster pitching.

“We’re not going to point fingers. It’s a horrible taste in your mouth, this game,” third baseman Ryan Reynolds said. “Beautiful weather, great fans. We just need to get back on track, everyone focus on their jobs and (if) everyone does their own jobs, everything will link up.”

Texas’ offense was unable to get anything going in its third game of the series, finishing Sunday with five hits, four walks and 10 players left on base.

Pierce said the team’s biggest struggle right now is picking the right pitches. Even in their 10-2 win on Saturday, the Longhorns were struck out 10 times. In all, Longhorn batters were struck out 23 times this weekend.

“To me, our biggest hole right now is our pitch selection,” Pierce said, “You know, you’ve got to hit mistakes. If you can’t hit mistakes then we have to evaluate what your talent level is, and if that’s an issue then we have to make adjustments in your swing or your approach. I’m not down on them, I just think in the past few weeks it’s been a trend.”

The Longhorns also struggled early on the mound. Starting pitcher Coy Cobb, who had an 0–2 record going into the game, allowed two hits and one home run in the first inning.

When asked what next for Cobb, Pierce told reporters, “Oh, we’re making a change.”

After Cobb’s appearance, the Longhorns recovered with pitchers Tristan Stevens and Cole Quintanilla. Both Stevens and Quintanilla tallied four strikeouts and led the Longhorns through four scoreless innings.

“(Today) was a big deal for Tristan because he’s been good for maybe three outs … and has struggled in his second time out,” Pierce said. “So to do what he did today is a very bright spot and I thought Cole was outstanding, Cole was what he was a few weeks ago. His breaking ball was outstanding.”

Now, the Longhorns are slated to face the 13–23 Lamar Cardinals on Tuesday at home. With another difficult loss to swallow for the Longhorns, Reynolds said he is hopeful that the team will fight for every game in the future.

“We’ve played a tough schedule,” Reynolds said. “We’ve done a fairly good job. I feel like a lot of losses we haven’t really lost, we’ve given the games away. So, we just need to stop giving games away and make the team earn it. If they earn it and they beat us straight-up, then that’s the game of baseball.”