With all the marbles and a trip to Omaha on the line, the Texas Longhorns turned to Matteo Bocchi for the start. Bocchi was making just his fourth start and had not gone longer than 4.1 IP in any appearance.
Against the nation’s best offense in Tennessee Tech, Bocchi had his best outing of the year and surpassed any possible expectations the Longhorns staff had for him on the day. Bocchi threw five innings, allowing one run on four hits and three strikeouts.
The first blow of the game came from Ryan Reynolds in the 2nd inning when he hit a ringing double off the wall in left center to score the first two runs of the game. Coming into today, Reynolds was 3-20 in the NCAA tournament. Reynolds would go on to add another single later in the game.
Kody Clemens would add to his postseason folklore and hit another home run, his third of the series and fifth of the postseason, for what was probably his weakest-hit homer of the year. That would make it 3-0 Texas in the 4th but then two batters later, DJ Petrinsky would go deep and make it 4-0.
Tennessee Tech chipped away at the lead with a run in the fourth and sixth innings. The sixth inning could’ve been worse for Texas but Parker Joe Robinson escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam and allowed just run to score.
The Horns would score another run in the bottom of the sixth when Tennessee Tech failed to catch a pop-up on the infield with two outs and Tate Shaw raced home.
Robinson threw the seventh and eighth innings for Texas and started the ninth but gave up a leadoff single and gave way to closer Andy McGuire. McGuire would strikeout the first batter he faced and then walk the next to bring up the tying run. He would throw one ball to leadoff the next batter before David Pierce went to the bullpen and brought in Nolan Kingham, Texas’ Game 1 starter.
Kingham would get a flyout and then a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Kingham would then get a groundout to shortstop David Hamilton to seal the victory and another trip to Omaha.
The Longhorns will play their first game in Omaha on Sunday at 1 PM CT against Arkansas.