Texas is down but far from out

The last time Texas Longhorns baseball lost a home baseball game was May 30, a 2-3 loss to Oral Roberts. The ‘Horns went on a 21 win-streak after that loss, winning 28 of their next 29 games after March 30.

TCU, coming off their record-breaking 50th win Friday, is hoping Texas’ Friday home defeat doesn’t begin another win-streak for the Longhorns Saturday at noon.

“We know that we are just as good as they are, and we do have the ability to come back and win two strait and go to Omaha,” said Longhorns’ pitcher Strayton Thomas after TCU’s 3-1 victory Friday. “You really can’t get down about the first loss.”

Texas head baseball coach Augie Garrido was sure to remind any Texas doubters (or TCU hopefuls) that the Longhorns lost the first game of their super regional series in 2002 and 2005. Texas won the NCAA national championship both years.

“Just be aware that around the country you’ll probably see two or three teams that lose the first games but will come back and win (their series),” Garrido said. “(TCU) is a very well designed (team), and so are we, so it should be a lot of fun tomorrow.”

And while previous patterns may fall short of predicting a full Texas comeback, Garrido will throw out pitcher Taylor Jungmann (7-3), who boasts a 2.10 ERA.

“(Jungmann) is a big game pitcher, I thought he was the difference in our series last year,” Schlossnagle said. “He was lights out against us, and you saw what he did in the (2009) College World Series, it was outstanding.

“We finally have one of those guys,” said Schlossnagle, as he turned and looked to Matt Purke, whose flattered and embarrassed expression was reminiscent of a little leaguer being award the game ball.

Maybe the fact that TCU will technically be the home baseball team Saturday will help them win two-consecutive games, but it will more than likely be squarely on the Frogs’ starting pitcher Steven Maxwell’s shoulders to win the battle on the mound against Jungmann.

Maxwell (11-1), a second-team All-American and the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year, was also drafted in the 12th round by the Minnesota Twins.

Maxwell has been TCU’s most consistent pitcher this season; his 2.51 ERA is due in large part to him starting in four of TCU’s six shutout wins. As Jungmann’s counterpart, Maxwell may need a fifth shutout effort to secure the Frogs a College World Series berth.

“We’ve won one game, big deal,” Schlossnagle said. “We did the same thing last year. It’s one game, and it means nothing more than that.”

Let Texas take Game 2, and it’s likely TCU won’t accomplish anything more than they did in 2009.