Longhorns One Win Away From Omaha
Texas came out of the gate firing on all cylinders at Disch-Falk Field on Friday afternoon and held on for a 4-2 win over the Houston Cougars in Game 1 of the Super Regional. The Longhorns had an up-and-down season in 2014, but they’ve rebounded quite nicely to put themselves one victory away from a trip to the College World Series.
Brooks Marlow led off the game with a single, and after he was swapped out on a fielder’s choice, Mark Payton smacked a home run off Housotn starter Jake Lemoine over the right field wall to take a 2-0 lead. That long-ball not only gave Texas a crucial early lead, it gave Payton his 100th consecutive game reaching base. A short time after giving the Longhorns the lead, the senior was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 7th round of the MLB Draft, so it was an all-around great day for Payton.
Tres Barrera added the last insurance run with a RBI single up the middle of the field in the fifth, which is all Nathan Thornhill would need. The starter gave up two runs over seven innings on the mound, and also benifitted from three double-plays from the defense to push his season record to 8-2. Texas will have two chances to seal the deal this weekend in Austin, with the first being a 1 PM game on Saturday. Should the Cougars win, they’ll push it to a winner-take-all contest on Sunday, also at 1 PM. Tickets for both games are in huge demand, starting at $81 for tomorrow’s game. Should it go three, you can expect the price of Sunday tickets to soar as well.
The Longhorns have’t reached the College World Series since losing both games they played in the 2011 tournament. Texas was runner up at the 2009 College World Series, eventually losing out to an LSU team led by Anthony Ranaudo, who is now a highly-touted pitcher in the Red Sox organization. Texas has reached the CWS a record 34 times, and holds the best winning percentage in NCAA baseball history. Longhorns fans will look to the baseball team for success after a string of mediocre seasons from both the football and basketball teams on campus.