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.