Texas outfielder Eric Kennedy (30) high fives Texas infielder Tanner Carlson (5) after Carlson scored a run as the Longhorns play Texas Southern at home Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Photo: Mikala Compton / USA TODAY NETWORK
Last weekend Oklahoma swept Texas in baseball for the first time in 25 years. The Longhorns rode a wave of momentum for weeks but that came to a quick ending last weekend. Texas went from a Top-12 nationally ranked team that was in first place in the Big 12 to unranked and fourth place in the Big 12 following the sweep by the Sooners. This weekend the Longhorns head to Fort Worth in search of lost momentum - something they need to find relatively quickly if they intend on returning to Omaha for a third straight year under David Pierce.
Taking Two of Three is a Must
In order to make up for the tough series against Oklahoma, Texas needs to take at least two of the three games this weekend vs TCU. Losing another series could put the Longhorns in a downward spiral that becomes difficult to recover from. The Big 12 is still winnable and after this series, the Longhorns need to win every remaining conference series. TCU was regarded as the best team in the Big 12 to start the year, and despite some losses, the Horned Frogs are still a very solid team. Beating TCU would give Texas a confidence boost that is much-needed. Many people forget how inexperienced this Texas team is despite their solid overall record.
Clean Up the Walks
Walks have been a major issue for Texas pitching for a few weeks now. They were able to avoid disaster against Baylor with all the walks but it caught up to them last weekend against Oklahoma. If you can’t throw strikes, it’s going to make for a long day on the mound. The scouting report is out to make Longhorn pitchers throw strikes. Until they prove they can, opposing hitters will be patient. This TCU offense can score in bunches which means it’s even more pivotal to throw strikes.
Get Tanner Witt Home Healthy
Head Coach David Pierce announced Thursday that star pitcher Tanner Witt will make his season debut on Monday. Witt had a breakout freshman year before suffering an elbow injury forcing him to miss most of the 2022 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Pierce announced that Witt will only throw one inning, but it’s promising nonetheless. It has been discussed that Witt will increase his workload with each start as long as his elbow responds well. By the end of the year Pierce has said Witt could possibly throw 60 pitches or more. That would be a big help for the Longhorns pitching staff.