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Three Takeaways from the Longhorns Season Finale in Omaha

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
In Sunday’s four-hour affair with the Aggies, the Longhorns simply did not have enough. The pitching and batting really struggled this weekend and as tough as that is to swallow, it is a reality. Here are three key takeaways from the season finale loss to arch-rival Texas A&M at the College World Series in Omaha.
1.  Too many runners left on the bases. Texas left twelve runners on base which is entirely too many regardless of the game, but in Omaha, you will not win that way. The Longhorns went just 2-16 with runners in scoring position. When you have the offense that Texas has, it is tough to imagine the bats going that cold.  But they did, and did so at the absolute worst time possible.
2.  Texas pitching came up short once again. Following Pete Hansen’s underwhelming start Friday night against Notre Dame, Lucas Gordon did the same against the Aggies. He went just 1 2/3 innings which isn't going to cut it. He had a great first inning, retiring the aggies in order using just nine pitches. The second inning was not so kind. Gordon threw 40+ pitches before being yanked in favor of Jared Southard.
3.  Timely hitting was not there for the Longhorns. That really was the difference in this game. Texas A&M got the two-out hits with runners on, while Texas would strikeout or hit into a double play. Not to oversimplify things but often in baseball it comes down to who can get the two-out hits and who cannot. This weekend in Omaha, Texas just could not get those hits and that is a large reason Texas is going home.

Longhorns fall to Aggies in CWS elimination game 10-2

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Omaha, NE -- The Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies both came into Sunday facing elimination. The Texas bullpen has been a question mark all season while Lucas Gordon has arguably been the Longhorns' most effective pitcher since he took over Saturday's starting duties. Gordon threw only ten pitches in the first inning but struggled in the second on his way to being pulled. With Tristan Stevens unavailable, the Aggie bats took over and led them to a 10-2 victory.
In typical fashion, the Longhorns got off to a fast start. Two runs in the first two innings came by way of an Austin Todd RBI single to left to bring in Douglas Hodo III and an RBI double down the left field line from Hodo III that drove in Campbell. Unfortunately for the 'Horns those two runs would be the only ones on the day.
The Longhorns were betting on Lucas Gordan being able to pitch deep into the game but the Aggies delivered four runs in the second frame that saw Gordon being pulled, giving way to a lead they would not relinquish. Texas A&M smacked two RBI singles to left and a two-run double off the left field wall.
Texas A&M continued scoring runs in four of the remaining seven innings. They knocked one run in in the third, fourth, seventh and eighth frames while adding two runs in the fifth. 
Awards for the Longhorn Baseball standouts
Even though the Longhorns fell short of expectations, (with Tanner Witt going down to injury being a big part of that) the 'Horns can hang their hats on history being made. Ivan Melendez smashed a single season team record 32 home runs on the season and is the current favorite to win the Golden Spikes award. Ivan's 32 home runs is the most in a season since Billy Becher of New Mexico State hit the same in 2003. This Texas squad also destroyed the team record for home runs in a season with 128 (previous record was 81).
Ivan Melendez won Big 12 Player of the Year award, the highest honor in the conference.
Longhorns making the All-Big 12 First Team include: Ivan Melendez, Murphy Stehly, Silas Ardoin, and Pete Hansen. Melendez and Hansen being the only two unanimous selections in the conference.
All-Big 12 Second Team: Trey Faltine, Skyler Messinger, and Lucas Gordon
All-Big 12 Honorable Mentions: Douglas Hodo III, and Austin Todd
Congratulation to head coach David Pierce and the Texas Baseball program on a successful season and trip to Omaha.

Comparisons of the biggest tournaments in college baseball vs MLB

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball is one of America’s most iconic sports. Part of that deep-rooted love for baseball probably comes from the fact that it is a summer sport, so most people have childhood memories of watching games or playing in the park without school getting in the way or having little worry about rain, sleet or snow.
Baseball is tied up in our collective unconscious with sunny days and blue skies, with hotdogs and soda pop — or an ice cold, crisp beer once you’ve hit a certain age. The MLB has such an extensive minor league system that even once the major games got more expensive, there was always the chance to hang out with friends at a smaller local game and enjoy a few innings of great ball without breaking the bank.
Yet, for some reason, college baseball never attracts the same attention and fervor as college football or basketball. Maybe it is because it’s seen as a summer sport, so people forget about the college leagues. Another reason is that baseball players can be drafted right out of high school without having to play in college first.
Thankfully, in the last few decades, NCAA baseball has begun to grow in popularity across the country, instead of just in the South. More universities are building baseball teams and taking the sport seriously. This makes the fight for the title more competitive and more interesting, even if it still doesn’t attract quite as many viewers as March Madness does.
Even some baseball fans still aren’t entirely aware how the College World Series (CWS) works since it doesn’t get as much TV and media coverage as other college tournaments. This article will try to help clear up any confusion by comparing the CWS to the MLB World Series.
Format
The College World Series features eight teams that qualify for the tournament by accumulating wins throughout the season and in regional competitions. This is how a team such as Tennessee, who were the top national seed, didn’t make it to the CWS — they lost to Notre Dame in a Super Regional series. The CWS is a double elimination style tournament, with two brackets. The final is a best-of-three series. Considering that there are 300 Division 1 teams across the country, this is a very limited tournament.
The NCAA baseball season takes place from February to June. The CWS takes place over the final two weeks of June. It is held in Omaha, Nebraska at Charles Schwab Field. This year, the Texas Longhorns were knocked out in the first round by Texas A&M.
The World Series is held in October. There is no set stadium for the World Series, it shifts between the competing teams’ home fields to allow everyone to have a home field advantage and keep things balanced. The teams that won their Divisions automatically qualify for the playoffs and the teams with the next best records are given a wild card slot. After the Divisional playoffs, the winners from the American League and the National League face off in a seven game final series.
Favorites to win?
The College World Series finished on June 26th, with Ole Miss taking the title after beating Oklahoma with a two-game sweep in the final series. It is the first time that Ole Miss has won the CWS. Judging by their performance, it’s likely that they’ll be favorites next year as well.
Despite the MLB season getting off to a bumpy start due to the lockout that delayed opening day by a week, it has been smooth sailing since then. Even though we’re only about 80 games into the 162-game season, predictions for which teams are likely to win the World Series are already being worked out.
Currently the bookmakers are favoring the Los Angeles Dodgers, the NY Yankees and the Houston Astros. All three of these teams are sitting at the top of their Divisions, though the Yankees have a higher win percentage than their two main rivals. The Astros, meanwhile, have won nine of their last 10 games, so they could be on a hot streak that carries them through the summer.
Popularity?
The World Series is one of the most watched professional sporting events of the year. Each game in the final series might not attract the same number of viewers as the Super Bowl does, but that’s simply because there are more games. The College World Series attracts a lot of viewers, especially from states that have colleges competing. However, it still lags behind March Madness and the big Bowl games in terms of nationwide viewership.

Three Keys in the Lone Star Showdown Elimination Game in Omaha

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Due to losses by both teams in their opening games of the College World Series, the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies find themselves in a matchup on Sunday that once used to be commonplace: playing against one another in a high stakes game.  The Aggies lost to Oklahoma in the Omaha opening game on Friday, and the Longhorns were ousted by Notre Dame shortly thereafter.  The pair of losses sets up a matchup between the two rivals that once used to play each other every year in every sport, until the Aggies bolted for the Southeastern Conference in 2012.  
The game is of critical importance, with the loser packing their bags and heading home.  With that, lets look at three things that will serve as important factors in the game for both teams.
1.      How much pitching will Texas A&M have left? During Friday’s defeat to Oklahoma, the Aggies used six pitchers, which is certainly something to watch for on Sunday. Getting one day off is going to make it difficult for the staff should the bullpen be asked to pitch several innings once again.
2.      How will the Longhorns offense respond? In Friday’s loss to Notre Dame, it was the first game all year that Texas did not have an extra base hit. Nobody outside of Dylan Campbell could really get things going. If Texas looks to extend their season, the offense needs to help Lucas Gordon and company out.
3.      Will Lucas Gordon bounce back from his last start? In Gordon’s last start against East Carolina, he went just four innings, giving up four earned runs and three walks. Gordon has been a bright spot overall, stepping up following Tanner Witt’s injury. If Gordon gets back to form, Texas has a great chance to send their rival home.  If he struggles on Sunday, things become very difficult.

Texas falls 7-3 to Notre Dame in College World Series opener

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Omaha, NE -- #9 Texas Baseball drew Notre Dame in the opener for both schools after the Fighting Irish shockingly defeated #1 Tennessee in Knoxville. Led by head coach Link Jarrett, the Irish gave Pete Hansen and the Longhorns everything they could handle. Notre Dame's starting pitcher, John Michael Bertrand, pitched with conviction and led the Fighting Irish to a victory. 
Pete Hansen had a shaky start to his postseason in a loss to East Carolina. His struggles unfortunately persisted against the active bats of the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame claimed a first inning lead when Jared Miller skipped a solo homer off the right field wall. The Texas fielders were then put into a tough position in the second with two on and no outs. A grounder to Messinger allowed a runner to score while Messinger took the out at second base.
Texas finally got on the board in the third with a sacrifice bunt from Eric Kennedy that brought in Dylan Campbell. The 'Horns bats struggled against the pitching of the Irish, registering only six hits on the evening. 
Notre Dame answered with a controversial overturned call at home that allowed them to take a 3-1 lead. Pete Hansen was pulled in the fifth after two singles and an RBI single to extend the Fighting Irish lead. Tristan Stevens entered in relief and was immediately called for a balk that walked in another Irish run. Notre Dame finished the inning with an RBI single to right field that gave them a 6-1 lead. 
The Longhorns began chipping away in the fifth and sixth innings. Dylan Campbell smacked a single up the middle followed by a stolen base. Douglas Hodo III then drove him home with an RBI single to left. Murphy Stehly contributed with a single to left field, advanced to second on a wild pitch and eventually to third on a groundout. Another wild pitch allowed him to score to bring the game to within three runs.
Tristan Stevens pitched beautifully in relief until an insurance home run from Notre Dame in the ninth effectively ended the game and solidified a 7-3 victory for the Fighting Irish.
Texas will have to win back to back games to climb out of the losers bracket. First they have a date with rival Texas A&M on Sunday, June 19th at 1 P.M. and if they win they will face the loser of Oklahoma and Notre Dame.

Three Takeaways From the Longhorns' 7-3 loss to Notre Dame

Photo: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
The Longhorns lost their fifth straight opening game in Omaha on Saturday, falling to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7-3.  Texas ace Pete Hansen took his second straight loss, and the Longhorns now find themselves facing a win-or go-home game on Sunday.
Here are three observations from Saturday's game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
1.  Pete Hansen simply didn’t have it on Saturday. It was clear early on that Hansen didn’t have his best stuff, similar to his last start against East Carolina. Hansen is the type of pitcher that relies heavily on command versus being able to rely strictly on his stuff. He struggled locating his pitches early and often. Notre Dame made hard contact virtually every at-bat and with his recent starts, Hansen may just be reaching fatigue from so many innings this year. 
2. The heart of the Longhorn lineup struggled against the Irish. The 1-4 hitters went a combined 3-14 with 5 strikeouts. When those guys don’t deliver it’s really tough to produce runs, plain and simple. That hasn’t happened much this season, but it happened at the wrong time. This was the first game all season in which the Longhorns didn’t produce an extra base hit. In order to extend their season in Omaha against Texas A&M on Sunday, the bats will need to show up.
3. David Pierce lost the coaching battle. While this wasn’t the main reason the game went the way it did, it didn’t help Texas. Eric Kennedy really struggles against lefties, and he did so again. With Douglas Hodo on first multiple times, Kennedy popped out and struck out. With the speed Kennedy has it would’ve been worth the bunt attempt, especially with Hodo’s speed. Doing so may have eliminated possible double plays that came back to bite the Longhorns.
Texas and Texas A&M will meet at 1:00 PM in and elimination game on Sunday.

Ivan Melendez wins Dick Howser Trophy

The trophy case continues to fill up for Ivan Melendez. The redshirt junior was named the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy Friday morning, recognizing him as college baseball's player of the year in 2022. 
Melendez is the 4th Texas player to ever win the Dick Howser trophy, joining Brooks Kieschnick, Scott Bryant and Taylor Jungmann. His 32 home runs and 94 RBI's lead all of college baseball. Melendez accepted the award in Omaha as the Longhorns prepare to open the College World Series this evening at 6 PM against Notre Dame.

CWS Preview: Longhorns open play against Fighting Irish

Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC
The Texas Longhorns (47-20) make their 38th appearance in the College World Series on Friday as they face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (40-15) in Game 2 at 6:00 PM at Charles Schwab Field.  The #9 seeded Longhorns punched their ticket by defeating East Carolina in the last two games of the Greenville Super Regional, while the Fighting Irish left Knoxville with a Super Regional series win over top-ranked Tennessee.
The 'Horns and Irish have met six times on the diamond previously, the last coming in 1995, with each team holding a 3-3 record.   The only time they have played each other in the College World Series was in 1957.
Probable pitching matchups for Texas vs. Notre Dame are lefty Pete Hansen (11-2, 3.40 ERA) against Irish left-hander John Michael Bertrand (9-3, 2.67 ERA).
Included in the Longhorns' bracket are rival programs Texas A&M and Oklahoma, which open College World Series play at 1:00 PM.
What:  Texas vs. Notre Dame
When:  Friday, June 17, 2022
Time:  6:00 PM CST
Venue:  Charles Schwab Field at TD Ameritrade Park
Location:  Omaha, Nebraska
TV:  ESPN2
All-time record in the College World Series:  88-63
 

2023 3-star TE Spencer Shannon commits to Longhorns

On Monday, the Longhorns started off their week with an addition to their 2023 recruiting class, landing three-star tight end Spencer Shannon, a product of Mater Dei High School. The 6'7" athlete continues the trend of Steve Sarkisian's Californian pipeline to the Forty Acres, having earned commitments from Maalik Murphy and Larry Turner-Gooden in the previous recruiting cycle.
Prior to his announcement, Shannon had earned 14 scholarship offers, and chose Texas over the likes of programs such as Tennessee and Washington. Additionally, with Shannon's commitment, Texas's 2023 recruiting class now stands at six pledges and is currently the 28th-best class in the country.
Last season, as a junior at Mater Dei, Shannon was primarily used as an inline blocker at the tight end position in the two games that he appeared in. According to MaxPreps, Shannon totaled 3 receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Longhorns cruise past East Carolina 11-1 to advance to College World Series

(Photo: Texas Baseball)
By: @Cameron Cormier
Greenville, NC -- The Longhorns delivered in all phases in a winner takes all, game three finale against the East Carolina Pirates. Texas scored four runs in the first before a near six hour weather delay. The 'Horns were able to resume their offensive domination to the tune of five more runs in the second to secure the victory while Tristan Stevens battled his way through 6 innings on the mound.
The Longhorns established a first inning lead for the third day in a row. Ivan Melendez smashed his 32nd homer of the season to drive in three runs while Skyler Messinger continued his brilliance with an RBI single to left, giving the 'Horns a 4-0 lead.
After the skies cleared and play resumed, Texas picked up where they left off. Trey Faltine led off in the second with a single and Douglas Hodo followed with a bunt single. Eric Kennedy drove in Faltine with an RBI single up the middle and Murphy Stehly followed with a 2-run single. Austin Todd hit a sacrifice fly to bring in a run to extend the Texas lead to 9-1.
The middle innings were rather quiet until Trey Faltine crushed his 15th homer of the season. A solo shot to left field that disappeared into the trees. Silas Ardoin joined him with his 12th homer of the season, a ninth inning solo shot to right field to finalize an 11-1 Longhorns victory.
Tristan Stevens pitched with heart and once again showed up in a do-or-die game for the 'Horns. Stevens pitched six complete innings, allowing only one run while striking out five batters. Travis Sthele and Jared Southard finished out the game to punch the Longhorns ticket to Omaha.
Texas will open the College World Series on Friday against Notre Dame.
Game Stats:
Melendez: (1-4) 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 RBI
Messinger: (3-5) 2 RBI
Stehly: (1-3) 1 2B, 2 RBI

Three Takeaways as Texas Earns its 38th Trip to Omaha

Photo: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Longhorns braved a late start and a long weather delay in Greenville on Sunday, defeating the East Carolina Pirates 11-1 to advance to their 38th College World Series.  After losing the first game and fighting back from a 7-2 deficit in Game 2 to even the series, head coach David Pierce seemingly has his team firing on all cylinders.  From pitching to clutch hitting, there were gritty performances all the way around from Texas players in the Super Regional.  Let's take a look at three things we learned from the team this past weekend. 
1.  They embrace Texas Fight until the last pitch. Facing elimination in Game 2, down 7-2 with nine outs left in their season, they didn’t blink. After a rough Friday game in which they lost 13-7, their season was on the brink Saturday. Texas jumped out early with a couple of runs up 2-0 but the Pirates answered back. Many thought the Longhorns' season was over, but Dylan Campbell thought otherwise. After home runs by Douglas Hodo and Skyler Messinger to tie the game at 7, Campbell gave Texas the lead with an 8th inning home run. The Longhorns then gave up the lead but it didn’t matter as Campbell had a walk-off hit with two outs and the bases loaded. It was one of the most remarkable Texas postseason wins in recent history.
2.  The Texas starting pitching, specifically Hansen and Gordon, wasn’t what we expected. Both pitchers were hit pretty hard, but the bats came alive and helped both negate sluggish performances. This may be the best Texas lineup we've ever seen - the firepower and capability to put up runs in a hurry is remarkable. The Longhorns needed all arms available and when it mattered most, they delivered. The bullpen has been understandably criticized all season but deserves some well-earned applause this weekend.
3.  Tristian Stevens is ready to end his Texas career on top. Stevens delivered what his team needed following a five hour rain delay in a win-or-go-home matchup on Sunday night. Prior to the rain delay, Texas took a 4-0 lead in the first inning largely thanks to Ivan Melendez's record setting 32nd home run. There was still work to do and Stevens delivered 6 innings of 1-run ball, which came on short rest as well. Stevens had pitched 3 innings between Friday & Saturday and was hit around pretty well. It didn’t matter, as he came back on Sunday and virtually shutdown one of the best offenses in the country. If that was a glimpse at what he brings moving forward, this team can has the potential to make a deep run in Omaha.

Longhorns beat Pirates 9-8 with walk-off in ninth to force game three

Photo Credit: @TexasBaseball
Greenville, NC -- Texas came into the day facing elimination following an opening game loss to the East Carolina Pirates. For the second day, the Longhorns began with two runs in the first before the bats went cold and pitching continued to struggle in the middle innings. However, a barrage of home runs late in the game and heroic late-game play from Dylan Campbell allowed the 'Horns to rally and break the horrid 0-17 streak of being behind after seven innings to force a game three on Sunday against the Pirates.
Murphy Stehly once again gave Texas an early lead with an RBI single to right that drove in Eric Kennedy who found himself in scoring position via a single and a stolen base. Texas plated another run with a poor throw to first from the Pirates' shortstop that forced a bobbled and dropped ball, allowing Stehly to run home.
East Carolina got on the board with a solo homer in the fourth and found their groove in the fifth when Lucas Gordon began to struggle. Two singles to lead off the inning and an error from Trey Faltine loaded the bases for the Pirates. Bryson Worrell proceeded to knock a two RBI double down the left field line to score two, leaving two on and forcing a pitching change on Texas' behalf. Marcus Olivarez entered into a difficult situation and allowed a bomb to right center that plated three runs and gave the Pirates a commanding 6-2 lead.
The Pirates scored another run in the seventh following a wild pitch but the Longhorns seemingly woke up with a Douglas Hodo III two-run homer to right center to tighten the Pirates lead to 7-4.
Skyler Messinger delivered with an eighth inning three run homer to right center to tie the game. Dylan Campbell followed with a bomb to right center to give the 'Horns an 8-7 lead late in the game. Six runs scored off three homers in the seventh and eighth innings lifted the 'Horns from a 7-2 deficit. 
Let's not forget that baseball is a game of nine innings. The Pirates smacked a top of the ninth, two out homer to left field to tie the game at 8-8.
However, in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, two strikes, and the bases loaded, Dylan Campbell heroically walked-off with a hit down the right field line to drive in Melendez and keep the Longhorns' season alive.
Texas will meet the Pirates again tomorrow with the winner earning a trip to the College World Series in Omaha.
Game Stats
Campbell: (3-5)  2 RBI, 1 HR, 1 Walk-Off
Messinger: (1-5) 3 RBI, 1 HR
Hodo III: (3-5)  2 RBI, 1 HR
 

Longhorns Drop Super Regional Opener to ECU, 13-7

Photo: Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA TODAY
Greenville, NC -- Head Coach David Pierce and #9 Texas Baseball travelled to Greenville, North Carolina to begin the Super Regional series against the #8 East Carolina Pirates. Texas gave a valiant effort in a late-inning rally attempt but ultimately fall short in the opener 13-7.
The Longhorns found early momentum with a first inning lead by way of a Murphy Stehly two run home run to left field that brought in Douglas Hodo III. 
However, the Pirates answered back and then some. A walk, bunt, and single to right loaded the bases for a pitch to get by Texas catcher Silas Ardoin and score a run. A two RBI single to left field gave the Pirates their first lead that they would continue to build on.
East Carolina enjoyed a three run, fourth inning. A two run homer to left field followed by an RBI single to left gave the Pirates a four run lead before a first pitch homer in the fifth gave them a 7-2 lead.
Texas returned with a trio of solo homers in the sixth and seventh. Ivan Melendez orbited a shot to left field that cleared the tree line while Murphy Stehly directly followed with his second homer of the day, a bomb through right center field. Douglas Hodo III continued Texas' comeback efforts with a homer to right field, narrowing the Pirates lead to two runs.
East Carolina earned a run back in the seventh but an Ardoin ground rule double and a Jack O'Dowd groundout plated two runs to tighten the Pirates lead to one run. 
The Pirates finished with a run in the eighth, featuring a solo homer off of Hodo III's glove, two RBI singles, and a two RBI double to right field to secure a 13-7 Pirates victory.
Longhorn ace Pete Hansen suffered an unusual outing, allowing five earned runs on seven hits through four innings. Zane Morehouse weathered the Pirates' onslaught for two innings after allowing his first pitch out of the park. Five different Longhorns pitchers finished the game with Tristan Stevens and Aaron Nixon being the only pitchers to allow runs. 
Texas and East Carolina will meet again tomorrow at 11:00 AM in an elimination game for the Longhorns.
Game Stats:
Stehly: (2-4)  3 RBI, 2 HR
Melendez: (1-4)  1 RBI, 1 HR
Hodo III: (2-5)  1 RBI, 1 HR

Three Keys to Longhorns' Bid To Return To Omaha

Photo credit: Annie Rice/Caller-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Texas Longhorns are headed to Greenville, North Carolina to face the East Carolina Pirates in a Super Regional on Friday.  Texas is one of two teams favored to win their regional despite not hosting one (Ole Miss is the other).  Both teams are hot, with Texas winning 11 of their last 13 games and the Pirates winning 21 of their last 22 games.
Let's take a look at three critical elements David Pierce's club needs in order to win two out of three in Greenville and advance to the College World Series in Omaha.
1.      Texas needs strong starting pitching like we saw last weekend at Disch-Falk Field. The starters gave up just 4 runs last weekend, and while that may be too much to ask against a solid ECU team, Texas needs similar production. In their Regional last weekend, ECU scored 35 runs over four games including 17 runs in the opener. This will not be the pitcher's ballpark that Texas is used to at home, but if the starters can go 6+ innings like they have been, Texas will have a great shot at winning.
2.      Continued production from the lineup, top to bottom. While the pitchers won’t have the friendly ballpark they’re used to, the batters will like it this weekend. 320 feet to the corners and 390 feet to center should lead to more runs for the Longhorns.  Someone that could potentially benefit from this is Dylan Campbell. There were balls hit last weekend that were pop flies, which this weekend may be home runs. This is a park in which the Longhorns should hit very well all weekend regardless of who’s pitching for the Pirates.
3.      The better base running team is a major key that could very well determine who punches their ticket to Omaha. Texas and East Carolina both ran into outs on the base path last weekend. With a hitter friendly park hosting this weekend, don’t expect to see a shortage of base runners. Texas head coach David Pierce made it known following last weekend’s games that the Longhorns must be better on the base paths. Pierce is often criticized as a third base coach by Texas fans and being overly aggressive with his signs. That is something to watch for in the more evenly matchup of teams this weekend.

Ivan Melendez named Golden Spikes Award finalist

The 2022 season has been one to remember for Ivan Melendez. The redshirt junior has rewritten the history books at Texas and was named a finalist for the Golden Spikes award Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Spikes award is given to the best college baseball player in the country.
Melendez was named one of three finalist, along with Oregon State pitcher Cooper Hjerpe and Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada. The winner will be announced June 24th during the College World Series.
Melendez will enter this weekend's Super Regional against East Carolina with a .404 batting average to go along with 30 home runs and 90 RBI's.

Texas adds LHP David Shaw from portal

(Photo: Rice Baseball)
Despite the 2022 season not being over, the Texas baseball staff is already beginning to peak ahead to the 2023 season and beyond. The Longhorns picked up a commitment from LHP David Shaw out of the portal on Monday evening.
Shaw, who just wrapped up his freshman year at Rice, threw 37 innings in 2022. He struck out 28 batters and allowed 20 walks with an ERA of 6.57. He stands at 6'7 and was ranked as one of the top left-handed pitchers in the state in the 2021 class coming out of Kinkaid High School in Houston. Shaw threw against the Longhorns earlier this season, allowing 4 runs in .2 innings.

Greenville Super Regional Schedule Announced

Photo: © Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Longhorns (45-19) will open Super Regional play as the #9 seed against the 8th seed East Carolina Pirates (45-19) in the Greenville Super Regional at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 10th.  The game will air on ESPN2.
Texas swept their Regional at Disch-Falk Field in Austin, defeating Air Force in Game 1, Louisiana Tech in Game 2, and the Air Force Falcons again in the Regional Championship game.
East Carolina won their Regional, with wins against Coppin State, Virginia and Coastal Carolina.  ECU had to play Coastal Carolina twice after losing the Sunday matchup between the two teams.  The Pirates will advance to their third straight Super Regional as they host Texas on Friday.
David Pierce and the Longhorns will be playing in their 12th Super Regional and boast a 21-7 all-time record in Super Regional play.
GREENVILLE SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE
GAME 1 - Friday, June 10, 2022 - 11:00 AM CST (ESPN2)
GAME 2 - Saturday, June 11, 2022 - 11:00 AM CST (ESPN2)
GAME 3 (if necessary) - Sunday, June 12, 2022 - TIME TBA
 

Softball advances to WCWS Championship with comeback win over Oklahoma State

Photo credit: @TexasSoftball 
Mike White and the Texas Softball team needed to win twice on Monday in order to advance to the program's first ever Women's College World Series Championship.  After handily beating Oklahoma State 5-0 in Game 1, Texas forced a winner-advance game against the Pokes.
Estelle Czech (13-1) pitched a complete game shutout in Game 1, and slugger Courtney Day blasted a three-run home run to left field to help propel the Longhorns to a 5-0 win.  The other runs came courtesy of Mia Scott taking advantage of an error by the Cowgirls and a Mary Iakopo sacrifice fly which scored Bella Dayton in the 6th inning.
Czech started on the mound for the Longhorns in Game 2 and gave up a run in the first inning and a two-run homer in the second inning before being replaced by Texas ace Hailey Dolcini.  Dolcini gave up a home run to Karli Petty in the third, extending the Oklahoma State lead to 5-0.
Courtney Day smacked her second three-run homer of the day in the fourth inning, trimming the Cowgirl lead to 5-3. 
The Longhorns weren't done, and put up three more runs in the fifth inning.  Bella Dayton singled to right field with two runners on base, and ended up scoring after several errors by Oklahoma State. 
Dolcini hit the leadoff batter in the bottom 5th but retired the final nine batters she faced as Texas claimed a 6-5 victory and a spot in the Women's College World Series Championship against rival Oklahoma.  
Texas and Oklahoma will play a best-of-three series that begins on Wednesday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. CT (ESPN).

Three Takeaways from Longhorns Regional Sweep at Disch-Falk Field

Photo: © Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Texas Longhorns (45-19) made quick work of their opponents in the three games played in the Austin Regional last weekend.  The pitching held up, the offense was clicking, and Texas looked like a team that could do some damage in Omaha if given the opportunity.
Let's take a look at what we know after the Regional round of games came to a conclusion.
1.      The bullpen is more than capable of holding their own. While the slate of regional competition wasn't the best they will face, Air Force has a legit lineup and Louisiana Tech can certainly create problems for teams. Over 12 innings the Texas Bullpen allowed just 2 runs and most importantly only two walks. Walks have been a major issue with the bullpen this year and if they can throw strikes, this team can and will go far. They are likely to get strong starts from Pete Hansen and Lucas Gordon each time out so the bullpen should be fresh. The Longhorn relievers will be tested more moving forward but it is hard not to be impressed by what we saw in Austin this weekend.
2.      Inserting Dylan Campbell in the starting lineup paid off significantly. Campbell was inserted in place of Mitchell Daly,  which proved to be a great move by the staff. Campbell makes the Texas lineup even more lethal than it already was. He hit a crucial home run vs Louisiana Tech on Saturday to give Texas a 1-0 lead. He followed that with two home runs on Sunday against Air Force. Not that Texas had a lack of offensive power, but he brings more of that and now the lineup truly has no holes.
3.      Texas is playing its best all-around baseball at just the right time. The Longhorns outscored their opponents this weekend by a combined score of 26-6. That included stellar defense committing zero errors in the three games. Giving up just 4 runs from starting pitching is incredible and starting pitching and defense will always travel. Texas will face a bigger test next weekend but the Longhorns continue to have a chance to do special things in things in the postseason.

Texas advances to Super Regional with 10-1 rout of Air Force

Photo credit: @TexasBaseball
Austin, TX -- For the fourth time this season the Texas Longhorns met the Air Force Falcons, this time in the Regional Championship game at Disch-Falk Field. The Falcons clawed their way back with wins against Dallas Baptist and Louisiana Tech in elimination games while the 'Horns have taken care of business throughout the tournament. A 9-1 victory gave Texas a chance at hosting a super regional barring an East Carolina victory tomorrow.
With the Longhorns were designated as the away team, the offense took the field to begin the game. Ivan Melendez gave Texas an early lead with his 30th homer of the season, driving in himself and Dylan Campbell who batted second in place of Eric Kennedy. With Todd, Messinger, and Ardoin loading the bases, a passed ball off Falcons catcher Paul Skenes, allowed Todd to trot home. Trey Faltine followed with a ground rule double down the right field line, scoring two runs and giving Texas an early 5-0 lead.
The Longhorns added three more runs in the next three innings, beginning with a sacrifice flyout from Mitchell Daly that brought in Austin Todd from third. Dylan Campbell then smashed his first homer of the night in the fourth with a solo shot through left field. Silas Ardoin continued in the fifth with an RBI double to the right center gap to score Skyler Messinger and give the 'Horns an 8-0 lead.
Dylan Campbell has been batting as well as anyone in the Longhorns' dugout and proved that in the eighth with his second homer of the evening. A solo power shot sailed over the left field fence for his third home run in the last two games.
Trey Faltine added some insurance in the ninth with another double down the right field line. Messinger scored while Daly was thrown out at home to end the inning.
The Texas bullpen has performed much better as of late. Travis Sthele manned the mound to begin the game throwing three scoreless innings while allowing only two hits. Jared Southard relieved Sthele for another three scoreless innings. Southard allowed only one hit before being relieved by Andre Duplantier II. Duplantier II and eventually LeBarron Johnson Jr. threw well on their way to closing out the Austin regional.
Texas will play the winner of East Carolina and Coastal Carolina in the Super Regionals. If East Carolina wins, the Longhorns will travel to Greenville, N.C. to resume play. If Coastal Carolina wins, Texas will host the Super Regional in Austin.
Game Stats:
Faltine: (2-4)  3 RBI, 2 Doubles
Campbell: (2-3)  2 RBI,  2HR
Melendez: (1-4)  2 RBI, 1HR

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