Over the course of the past two decades, Texas has qualified for the College World Series on nine different occasions, the last of which came two years ago this week.
During that 2018 season, Texas was led by Baseball America All-America second baseman Kody Clemens, who would go on to be selected in third round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers. In the Super Regional against Tennessee Tech in Austin, the Horns dropped the first game to the power-hitting Golden Eagles, 5-4.
However, the very next day, Texas earned the 4-2 victory, thanks to a two-hit game from Clemens, and stellar pitching from starter Chase Shugart. It gave way to a thrilling game three between two teams who each had a burning desire to be one of the eight teams to go to Omaha.
On Monday, June 11, the first pitch was tossed at noon. What would follow was a game that metaphorically represented a seesaw, going back and forth with Texas taking a 4-0 lead in the third on a DJ Petrinsky home run that followed a solo homer by Clemens earlier in the inning. Tennessee Tech roared back, cutting the Longhorns’ lead to two, (4-2), in the sixth. Fortunately for the Horns, that was all the Golden Eagles could muster that afternoon. Texas claimed a victory in front of its home crowd, and a coveted spot in the College World Series.
Head coach David Pierce, who was all smiles after game three, told the media, “Wow, that was an awesome, awesome game. I mean you lose game one, and then you have to fight and claw your way to win game two. We know it’s another dog fight again today, but that’s one of the best hitting teams in the country and for us to hold them to two runs was pretty impressive. This team is really bonded well and they understand how to pick up each other.”
He then concluded with a statement that summed up the feelings of everyone who had followed Texas baseball throughout that incredible season.
“Just an incredible day.”