AUSTIN, Texas - The No. 5 Texas Longhorns were unable to bounce back from a six-run sixth inning and dropped a 7-5 decision to the Kent State Golden Flashes in NCAA Austin Regional action at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday evening.
The Golden Flashes entered the sixth inning trailing 2-1 when Jimmy Rider was issued a walk to start the frame and singles by Travis Shaw and Klafczynski load the bases with no outs. David Lyon unloaded the bases, depositing a 1-2 offering into the home bullpen down the rightfield line for a grand slam. With two outs, Joe Koch drew a walk and Derek Toadvine reached on an infield single to put a pair on. Andrew McKirahan relieved Taylor Jungmann on the mound and with Campbell batting Toadvine and Koch stole second and third bases, respectively. With a full count, Campbell dropped a single in leftfield to drive in two runs, giving Kent State a 7-2 lead.
Kent State (45-15) drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning. Evan Campbell started the inning with a soft chopper to third base which a hard-charging Erich Weiss was unable to handle resulting in an infield single. With two outs, Ben Klafczynski doubled to the wall in right centerfield to plate Campbell for the 1-0 lead.
Texas knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Tant Shepherd hit a leadoff single to leftfield, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Payton and moved to third on a passed ball. Brandon Loy walked to put runners on the corners and a sacrifice fly by Weiss plated Shepherd.
The Longhorns took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. Paul Montalbano singled to the gap in left centerfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Felts. Jordan Etier singled through the left side of the infield and Cohl Walla was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Shepherd bounced a fielder's choice groundout to plate Montalbano for the one-run lead.
Texas (44-16) mounted a late rally in the top of the ninth inning. With two outs, Jonathan Walsh doubled down the rightfield line. A passed ball and a walk issued to Montalbano put runners at the corners. Kent State brought Justin Gill in to relieve starter Andrew Chafin and he yielded a three-run pinch-hit home run to Kevin Lusson who deposited a 0-1 offering into the home bullpen down the leftfield line. Lucas Kephart drew a pinch-hit walk and Tim Maitland followed with a pinch-hit single giving the Horns runners at the corners once again. Closer Kyle McMillen came in for the Golden Flashes and retired Shepherd on a pop up to second base for his 18th save of the season.
Montalbano led Texas with two runs and Lusson added three RBI.
Klafczynski led all batters with three hits for Kent State. He went 3-for-4 with one double, one run and one RBI. Campbell went 2-for-4 with one run and two RBI. Shaw went 2-for-4 with one run.
Jungmann (13-1) allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over 5.2 innings. The loss snapped a 15-game win streak for the Jungmann and marked his first loss in 26 career starts at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. McKirahan worked 1.0 scoreless inning, scattering two hits and fanning one. Kendal Carrillo retired all four batters he faced in 1.1 innings.
Andrew Chafin (8-1) earned the victory for the Golden Flashes. He yielded four runs, three earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out eight over 8.2 innings.Texas returns to action Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. elimination game against the Texas State Bobcats.