Entering Sunday’s regional final, Texas was in a position of strength when it came to pitching. Tristan Stevens and Ty Madden delivered stellar starting outings and the Longhorn offense provided double-digit run support on Friday and Saturday. Few of Texas’ main bullpen arms were used and were fresh and available for Sunday and a potential Monday game.
AUSTIN -- If you closed your eyes Saturday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, the 46-year old ballpark might've sounded like 2005 - or even 1983 - as a festive crowd basked in the Texas Longhorns' 10-3 shellacking of Arizona State, propelling David Pierce's team into Sunday night's championship round of the Austin Regional.
When David Pierce chose Tristan Stevens as his game one starter for the Austin regional, he mentioned the right-hander’s ability to throw strikes against a Southern Jaguar team who emphasized pressure on the base paths as a leading reason behind his decision. What did Stevens do in his outing, the first postseason game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field since 2018?
Baseball can easily become monotonous over time. College baseball does not have the same 162-game grind of the major leagues, but five-straight months of baseball six days a week is a grueling trek, win or lose. So when Texas won the Big 12 regular season title, Longhorns head coach David Pierce celebrated. He traveled home in his full uniform and jumped into his pool, No. 22 jersey and all.
Texas is in the NCAA tournament for the 60th time in program history, and hosting a regional for the 36th time. Three teams, Arizona State, Fairfield, and Southern, are making their way toward UFCU Disch-Falk Field, with the Longhorns taking on Southern on Friday at 1 p.m. in the opening game of the regional on LHN.
Texas was selected as the No. 1 seed in the Austin regional, and the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament on Monday when the NCAA announced the field of 64. Joining the Longhorns in Austin will be two-seed Arizona State, three-seed Fairfield, and four-seed Southern.
The No. 2 Texas Longhorns put their own backs against the wall with Wednesday’s 5-1 opening round loss to West Virginia. Seeking to avoid going two-and-cue in the Big 12 Tournament for the second time in as many appearances, David Pierce needed someone to make their mark on the game after failing to find the man for the job on Wednesday.
Strong pitching is a hallmark of successful Texas baseball teams, and 2021’s squad is no different. Carrying a No. 2 ranking from D1Baseball entering the Big 12 Tournament, the top line of the Longhorn pitching staff has been critical in constantly putting Texas in position to win games.
Texas head coach David Pierce was named the Big 12 coach of the year, while Ty Madden was named the conference's pitcher of the year. Several other Longhorns received conference honors, which were released by the Big 12 on Monday.