On March 15, legendary Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido passed away from a stroke. Garrido was the all-time leader in wins as a collegiate baseball coach. Garrido had brought Texas to Omaha eight times and won the College World Series twice.
On March 15, the Texas Longhorns were 9-9 and in the midst of a five-game losing streak with conference play starting that weekend.
With Garrido’s jersey hanging in the dugout throughout the rest of the season, the Horns are now 42-21 with a trip to Omaha next weekend, the 36th time in school history and most all-time in the country. With this trip to Omaha, every signing class under Garrido will have made at least one trip to Omaha.
In addition to Garrido looking down on this team and helping guide them to victory, there have been a few key players to do their part as well.
Kody Clemens is the number one key to this team and getting them to Omaha. Since March 15, Clemens is hitting .351 with 20 HR and 56 RBI. In just the NCAA tournament alone, he is hitting .500 (11-22) with 5 HR, 11 RBI and has 6 walks. Clemens is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Award, both of which are routinely given to the top college baseball player of the year.
On the mound, Parker Joe Robinson has been the Longhorns’ most reliable pitcher no matter the situation. At Texas Tech, he was thrown into the game with the bases loaded and less than two out situations twice and only allowed one run to score combined. Texas won both of those games in Lubbock.
In Game 1 against Tennessee Tech, Robinson came in with bases loaded and no outs and left the bases loaded without a run scoring. Today, he came in with bases loaded and one out and allowed only one run to score and preserved a two-run lead. He then threw two-plus additional innings today and only allowed two hits in the process.
Robinson was recruited to Texas by Garrido. After redshirting in 2015, Robinson logged just 11.2 IP over 10 appearances with a 4.63 ERA over the past two seasons. So far in 2018, Robinson has thrown 30.2 IP in 20 appearances with a 1.17 ERA and with 30 strikeouts. Robinson’s father, Jeff Robinson, also played for the late Garrido at Cal State Fullerton from 1980-1983.
These two have been integral parts of this team and why the Longhorns are back in Omaha for the first time since 2014. As Kody Clemens said in the preseason promo video below, “We’re done waiting.”
They’re done waiting to return to Omaha and they’ll be there this weekend.