Nick Peoples had to stop himself from going.
After all, Texas already had made one out at home plate earlier in the game, and lost a game earlier in the year by making that mistake.
Standing on third with the game tied and no outs in the ninth, Peoples almost went home on Chais Fuller’s ground ball to Texas A&M shortstop Brandon Hicks. Instead, Peoples waited.
It paid off when Aggies pitcher Kyle Thebeau threw a wild pitch to the next batter, allowing Peoples to score the winning run on Friday night as Texas won 6-4 at Olsen Field to claim a share of the Big 12 title for the second consecutive year.
Texas can clinch an outright title with a victory over the Aggies at 6 p.m. today at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. If Texas loses its final two games and Missouri wins its final two against Oklahoma State, the Tigers, who won 2 of 3 against the Longhorns, will claim the No. 1 seed at the Big 12 tournament. Missouri beat OSU 9-6 on Friday.
“I said we were going to win the title,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said. “Now, I’ve proven in the past that I can be wrong.”
Peoples, who went 3 for 4 and scored two runs on Friday, made sure Garrido wasn’t wrong this time.
“I was looking for (a wild pitch),” Peoples said. “I wanted to get a good enough lead, but I didn’t want to get picked off third base. I didn’t think I was going to be able to go when it went off the catcher’s glove. But I was able to get there.”
Texas (40-14 overall, 19-6 Big 12) added a run later in the ninth inning when Chance Wheeless hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Travis Tucker, completing the Longhorns’ first comeback victory of the season. Texas A&M (41-13, 13-11) took an early 4-1 lead but made three errors to help the Longhorns.
After scoring two runs in the first inning, the Aggies grabbed a 4-1 lead in the third when Luke Anders hit a two-run home run.
Texas added one run in the sixth but could have had more. With one out, Jordan Danks on third and Wheeless on first, Bradley Suttle doubled to the left-field wall. Danks scored and Wheeless tried to do the same but was gunned out at the plate.
Texas A&M left fielder Ben Feltner made a perfect throw to shortstop Brandon Hicks, who fired a strike to catcher Craig Stinson in time to get Wheeless.
It didn’t matter. The Horns tied it with a two-run seventh. Chais Fuller had a nine-pitch at-bat that ended with an RBI double, scoring Peoples.
“I was just trying to stay alive, mentally and physically,” Fuller said.
Danks, who has been in a slump lately, followed with a two-out single to center field, plating Fuller to tie the game at 4-4.
“We’re taught not to think at all at the plate, and today I was a little more confident up there,” Danks said. “This was a big win, to come in here, a tough place to play, and come back like that.”
Texas A&M left runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth inning when Texas reliever Randy Boone got Parker Dalton to strike out. That set the stage for Peoples, who led off the top of the ninth with an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Josh Stinson.