Texas is going to win the Big 12 championship.
That’s what Longhorns coach Augie Garrido said after his team blew its first opportunity to do just that.
“We’re going to do it. We’re the best team,” Garrido said.
They probably will win a conference championship, and they might be the best team in the conference.
But they weren’t this weekend.
That title went to Missouri, who completed a series win against Texas on Sunday as Dripping Springs’ product Trevor Coleman hit two home runs to help the Tigers claim a 5-4 victory in the rubber match at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The Longhorns (38-14, 18-6), who have three games remaining against Texas A&M, need any combination of three Texas victories and three losses by Missouri, which has six conference games remaining, to claim the Big 12 for the second consecutive year.
They could have completed both those tasks with a win Sunday.
It didn’t happen.
The Longhorns, who were playing without left fielder Jordan Danks — shoulder — and right fielder Kyle Russell, who injured his wrist in the fifth inning diving for a ball, couldn’t contain Coleman, a freshman.
After Texas took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Missouri catcher hit a solo home run in the second inning off starter Austin Wood.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the sixth, Coleman, who had three home runs in the series, hit a two-run blast off Texas reliever Joseph Krebs, putting the Tigers (33-13, 14-7) up for good.
“It feels great to come here, where I’ve watched a few games, and play like this,” said Coleman, who talked with Texas a few times about playing in Austin but never got a scholarship offer. “Any time you come into this atmosphere and play like this and win the series, it’s big.”
The Tigers got both victories off poor bullpen performances by Krebs, who gave up three runs — two earned — in one-third of an inning Sunday.
“I just didn’t have it,” said Krebs, whose been one of Texas’ most reliable pitchers this season. “I was getting too many balls up in the zone and they took advantage.
The Horns tried to fight back.
They scored a run in the seventh on Preston Clark’s home run, and brought the game within one in the eighth when Travis Tucker scored on Chance Wheeless’ sacrifice fly.
But they couldn’t pull it off in the ninth as the game ended when Kyle Lusson flied out, leaving runners on first and second.
The Horns, who fell to 0-9 in games they’ve trailed after seven innings, stranded 14 runners Sunday.
And Texas always seems to strand the tieing run late in the game.
“That’s just the way it’s gone,”Peoples said. “We seem to put pressure on the other team but fall one hit short. It’s a gross feeling. I hope that everybody realizes how much this hurts.”
Garrido gave the Tigers credit.
“They got more confidence, more competitive and more mentally tough as the game went on,” Garrido said. “They didn’t win because we rolled over. We had our opportunities, and we kept fighting. They won because they played good baseball.”
Texas will have time to regroup from its first series loss since losing two of three at Long Beach State in February. They’re off this weekend before taking on the Aggies beginning May 18 in College Station.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from this,” Clark said. “We just have to realize that we need to regroup and come out and give 110 percent next game.”
Texas should be back to full strength when they invade Texas A&M.
“Both Danks and Russell should be back by then,” Garrido said. “Neither has serious injuries. This was the best time for them to get injured because we have time for them to heal.”