Baseball Preview No. 10: Oklahoma State No. 8
#10 TEXAS (31-13, 9-6) vs. #8 OKLAHOMA STATE (28-13, 10-5)
April 29-May 1, 2022
Where: UFCU Disch-Falk Ground
Time: Friday at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Television: Longhorn Network
Radio: 104.9 FM The Horn / 1260 AM
Live Stats: https://texassports.com/sidearmstats/baseball
All-time series: Texas leads, 64-48
LIKELY LAUNCH MATCHUPS
FRIDAY-Texas HPL Peter Hansen (7-1, 2.70) vs. OSU RHP Justin Campbell (6-1, 2.89)
SATURDAY-Texas RHP Tristan Steven (5-4, 4.50) vs. OSU RHP Bryce Osmond (3-1, 4.40)
SUNDAY-Texas HPL Lucas Gordon (4-1, 3.00) vs. OSU RHP Victor Mederos (3-3, 6.55)
THE MATCHUPS—Texas hosts Oklahoma State for a Top 10 showdown at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this weekend. Last season, the Longhorns went 2-2 against the Cowboys, winning the series at Stillwater but losing a game in the Big 12 tournament. The last time the teams met in Austin was in 2018, Texas winning the series.
A LOOK AT THE LONGHORNS—The Longhorns enter the weekend on a five-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 65-21 over the streak. Trey Faltin started the streak last Wednesday, hitting a clean round in the ninth inning against the Air Force. Texas leads the Big 12 with a .320 batting average and 78 home runs, while the pitching staff leads the league with a 3.90 ERA and six shutouts. The Longhorns are also the best fielding team in the league with a .984 fielding percentage.
BOMB SQUAD—In the first 44 games this season, Texas has homered 78, the most in the Big 12 and 5th nationally. The program’s record for homers in a season is 81, set by the 2010 team. Last season, Texas hit 68 home runs in 67 games, the third by a Longhorn team. Texas has 21 multi-homer games, including nine three-homer games, four four-homer games, and two five-homer games.
THE SOFTNESS OF HOME-Texas went 18-4 this season at friendly UFCU Disch-Falk Field. In the first 44 games of the season, Texas played a total of 22 home games and 22 away games at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Of the last 12 games of the regular season, the Longhorns have played nine at home and only three on the road. In home games, Texas has a .339 batting average and a 3.36 ERA.
TITANIC-Ivan Melendez is tied for the national lead with 21 home runs this season, the third-most hit by a Texas player in a single season. Melendez now has 34 career homers, which ties Kody Clemens (2016-18) for fourth in career at Texas. Melendez also ranks in the top 10 nationally in slugging percentage (1st), total on-base percentage (2nd), RBI (4th), and on-base percentage (6th). He also leads the team, beating .404 with a 1.425 OPS. Three of Melendez’s homers this season cleared the batter’s eye in center field, making him the first player to hit four career Monster Shots.
MURPH DOG—Murphy Stehly has been unstoppable this season batting .399, ranking fourth in the nation with 71 total hits and seventh with 125 total bases. Stehly also has 16 doubles, a triple and 12 home runs. He has a hit in all but four games and has 21 multi-hit games, including only the sixth three-homer game in Texas Baseball history. He had a 20-game hitting streak earlier this season, which is tied for fourth-longest in program history. His versatility was also on display, playing first base, second base, third base and right field throughout the season.
LITTLE SWEET—Peter Hansen was the consecutive Big 12 Pitcher after throwing a gem against Oklahoma before throwing his first career complete shutout against TCU. Against the Horned Frogs, he allowed just two hits and one walk in nine innings on the mound. For the season, Hansen leads the Big 12 with seven wins and ranks second with 63.1 innings pitched. He ranks third in the league with a 2.70 ERA, 76 strikeouts and a batting average of .197 opponents. His career ERA of 2.00 ranks 5th among active NCAA Division I players.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT-Texas clinched gold last season with the addition of graduate transfer Mike Antico of St. John’s. The outfielder became the first player in Big 12 history to hit 10 homers and steal 40 bases in a season. This season, the Longhorns have added the transfer of graduates Skyler Messinger of Kansas and he produced. The similarities are striking, as both players started their careers slowly in Texas. In Antico’s first 26 games last season, he batted just .202 before dropping to .273 and landing in the second-team All-Big 12. For Messinger, he was batting just .192 after his first 16 games, but in his last 25 games he increased his batting average to .368. He’s also been excellent defensively at third base with just one error on 115 defensive chances this season.
TWO-SHOT SHOT—Texas has had a knack for scoring runs with two outs this season, making 40% of its RBI with two outs. The Longhorns have a total of 135 two-out RBIs on their 335 runs. Ivan Melendez not only leads the team with 64 RBIs, but leads the team with 26 two-out RBIs. Douglas Hodo III is 19 years old, while Trey Faltin at 16 years old, Murphy Stehly is 14 years old and Skyler Messinger a 11. Conversely, the Texas pitching staff was tough with two outs and held opponents to a .211 batting average with two outs and just 46 RBIs to two outs allowed.
MARS MADNESS—Texas Baseball started March with a tough 11-game streak in the first 16 days of the month. To make matters even more difficult, the majority of those matches have taken place away from UFCU Disch-Falk Field, with 10 of 11 on the road. The road was grueling and the Longhorns started the month with a 6-5 record. The end of the March schedule was also tough, starting Big 12 Conference play by dropping the series at Texas Tech before dropping to Texas A&M for a midweek game. Overall, Texas went 11-8 in March with 13 away games.
DISC OWNER—Much of the Longhorns’ success under head coach David Pierce came to dominate at home. Since 2017, Texas has produced a 140-37 (.791) record at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, including an 18-4 mark this season. Since the stadium opened in 1975, Texas has gone 1571-397-3 at home for a .798 winning percentage. The fanbase has also done a great job of making Disch a tough place to play. In the first 22 home games this season, Texas averaged 6,848 fans in attendance, which would be a program record. With the exception of last season’s limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas has led the Big 12 in attendance for 15 consecutive seasons.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS—It’s an old adage that played out well on Texas’ journey to a record 37th College World Series appearance in 2021. The Longhorns 2.93 ERA led the NCAA by nearly a quarter rush and the Big 12 Conference more than one race. Texas’ .980 fielding percentage also led the Big 12 and was the 10th best fielding percentage in the nation. This season, the Longhorns lead the Big 12 with a 3.90 ERA and are third nationally with .984.
FLASHING LEATHER—Trey Faltin and Mitchell Daly formed an incredible midfield duo, anchoring the Big 12’s best defense with a .984 field percentage. This season, Daly leads the league with 130 assists and Faltine is second with 128. Last season, Faltine led the Big 12 with 203 assists, while Daly was second with 178.
GROUND SHOT MACHINE—Throughout his career on Forty Acres, Eric Kennedy used his speed as a means to reach the base. With four field singles (three bunts) this season, Kennedy now has 55 career field singles (31 bu). Last season, he had 27 singles from the field, including 16 hits.
LISTEN TO THEM—In partnership with Learfield IMG College, Texas games will air on the Austin radio network, primarily on 104.9 The Horn and AM 1260. Craig Way is primarily handling play-by-play duties alongside Roger Wallace . This season, fans will also hear analysis from Longhorn greats Keith Moreland, Ty Harrington and Nathan Thornhill throughout the season.