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Three Takeaways as Texas Earns its 38th Trip to Omaha

Mitch Lovell
Mitch Lovell

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.

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