After Texas struck out 21 times versus Mississippi State on Sunday, adjustments definitely had to be made but confidence also needed to be restored. It was the second time Texas suffered strikeout after strikeout against the Bulldogs, but the difference between the stakes on opening day and the opening game of the College World Series are immense.
The Texas Longhorns, the highest remaining seed in the NCAA tournament, are on the brink of elimination following a 2-1 loss to Mississippi State in the College World Series. Longhorn hitters struck out 21 times against Bulldog starter Will Bednar and bullpen menace Landon Sims, only managing four hits against the SEC squad.
When Aaron Nixon struck out the final hitter of the Austin super regional to clinch Texas’ 37th trip to Omaha, David Pierce received a pat on the back from his assistant coach Philip Miller, who appeared to tell the Texas head coach “nice job.” The two stood and clapped at the edge of the dugout along with Sean Allen and Troy Tulowitzki, watching their team celebrate a trip to the College World Series.
Texas was undefeated in the NCAA tournament entering Sunday night’s game versus the USF Bulls. One win was all that separated the Longhorns from their record 37th appearance in the College World Series.
Eighteen baseball programs have reached double-digit men's College World Series since its inception in 1947. Some of the country's most storied programs, including USC, Arizona State, Florida State, and Miami are on that list of teams with 10 or more appearances. Most of the teams in that prestigious club have won a title or two.
Texas right-hander Ty Madden begins every start with a rendition of the classic country song Highwayman by the legendary foursome of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.
Texas was one strike away from taking game one of the Austin super regional over the USF Bulls, 3-1. Tanner Witt, who up until the ninth inning was dominating Bull hitters in relief of Ty Madden, just needed one more strike to complete the save.