It’s 140 something a.m., and I missed a portion of the game trying to interview recruits leaving tonight’s camp. That said, I felt like I saw most of what I needed to see in the Horns’ 5-3 12 inning win.
Cooper was unbelievable. A couple of blemishes, but his 8 IP saved arms for tomorrow, which is absolutely huge. Shugart and Ridgeway, the two bullpen pitchers used tonight, may not be available tomorrow after their work, but they helped keep Texas in the hunt the entire time.
This team stuck with it. They had huge plays from Patrick Mathis and Ryan Reynolds. They made some mistakes, but they tried and were mostly successful in making up for them.
Bret Boswell continues his big past couple of weeks. Of course the last ground ball went to him and he nailed the play.
T-Jones go ahead single was as clutch as clutch can get.
So, back to the original question, best Texas baseball game since?
Press conference: https://youtu.be/izGc2JQZgow
LONG BEACH, Calif.—Second-seeded Texas Baseball used eight innings from Morgan Cooper, three solo homers and a clutch 12th-inning two-run single from Travis Jones to defeat top-seeded Long Beach State, 5-3, on Saturday night at Blair Field. With the win over the Dirtbags in the matchup of 1-0 teams, the Longhorns advance to the Long Beach Regional final on Sunday.
The game proved to be another pitchers’ duel in Long Beach as both Cooper and LBSU’s Darren McCaughan were both named Collegiate Baseball All-Americans earlier this week.
The Dirtbags got on the board first off Cooper when they manufactured a run on the base paths, but in the top of the second, Bret Boswell answered with his first of two homers in the game. The redshirt-junior unloaded on the 1-0 offering from McCaughan to knot the game at 1-1.
In the home half of the second, a Brock Lundquist solo homer restored the Dirtbags’ one-run lead and the score remained 2-1 through the next four innings.
Trailing by one, Boswell came up again in the seventh and turned on a 2-2 changeup to tie the ballgame once again.
Like the last time, the Dirtbags responded in the bottom of the frame with an unearned run, again thanks to Long Beach State’s base-running.
In what was a back-and-forth affair, the Longhorns would not go quietly. Senior Zane Gurwitz came up with one away in the eighth inning and homered to left field to tie things up at 3-3.
Cooper was impressive in eight innings of work for Texas. The right-hander allowed just six hits and three runs (two earned) while walking just one and striking out seven in just 100 pitches. At one point, the redshirt-junior retired 11 straight Dirtbags to keep the game in check.
With one on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, it was time for the Texas defense to shine. With Chase Shugart on the hill, right fielder Patrick Mathis made a diving grab to save the game and keep the Dirtbags off the board.
In the 10th, Long Beach State’s Jarren Duran tried to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer, but third baseman Ryan Reynolds bare-handed the relay throw from left field and fired a laser to home to end the inning and the threat.
After a scoreless 11th, Texas broke through with two outs in the 12th. Reynolds walked to open the inning before Michael Cantu singled to put two on. David Hamilton followed with a sacrifice bunt and, after Patrick Mathis was intentionally walked to load the bases, the Longhorns found themselves a scoring opportunity.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Jones drove the 1-1 pitch to left field to plate two and give the Longhorns their first lead of the night, 5-3.
Beau Ridgeway, who tossed a perfect 11th, returned to the mound in the 12th looking to finish things out. After a one-out single, Ridgeway (2-2) got a strikeout and a groundout to end the ballgame and move the Longhorns to 2-0 in regional action.
The Longhorns will face the winner of San Diego State and Long Beach State tomorrow night at 9 p.m. CT. The Aztecs and Dirtbags will play at 3 p.m. CT in an elimination game.