All is right again in the college baseball world. The Longhorns are going back to the College World Series.
After scuffling through an embarrassing season in 2012 and a subpar 2013, Texas coach Augie Garrido boasted this February that if you were going to play the Longhorns, “you better bolt your ass down.”
That confidence bubbled up in the NCAA Regionals against rival Texas A&M. Then, Texas blew through Houston twice to win the NCAA Super Regionals before capacity crowds at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Saturday’s 4-0 victory over the Cougars was as workmanlike as a 4-2 win in Game 1 on Friday.
Texas righthander Parker French (6-5) threw six scoreless innings. Middle relievers Travis Duke and Morgan Cooper didn’t allow anything in the seventh and eighth innings. Closer John Curtiss shut it down in the ninth.
The Longhorns got all the runs they needed in the fourth when Ben Johnson started it off with a rocket that was dropped by the left fielder. C.J Hinojosa hit a two-run single, and Collin Shaw scored another run with a sacrifice fly to right. Kacy Clemens also drove in Hinojosa.
All of this came off Houston starter Aaron Garza (9-5), who couldn’t save the Cougars’ season like in the Baton Rouge Regionals.
So buckle up, Texas fans. The Longhorns (43-19) will make their NCAA-leading 35th appearance in Omaha, Neb., next week. No school has more CWS victories (82) or games played (139).
Saturday’s win had to be a huge relief for Garrido, who hadn’t led Texas to the CWS since 2011 and was clearly feeling some heat from Steve Patterson. Next year is the final year’s of Garrido’s $1 million contract, and the Texas athletic director has been silent on Garrido’s future. Last week in Houston, Patterson made clear “the expectation is to reach Omaha.”
Starting next week, Patterson, Garrido, UT players and the fans can simply enjoy the journey. The Longhorns could possibly face a familiar foe in the opening game.
Texas would meet the winner of the Oklahoma State-UC Irvine super regional in Stillwater, Okla. Irvine won Game 1 late Friday, 8-4. Game 2 is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Ticket information and game times will be announced after all the NCAA Super Regional winners are determined this weekend. However, the first game of the CWS is scheduled for next Friday.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.