06 Jun

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Horns Strike Early, Ride Thornhill to Win Over Houston in NCAA Super Regional Opener

Mark Payton hits a two-run home run; Nathan Thornhill throws seven strong innings to put the Longhorns within one game of the College World Series. (Image via University of Texas Athletics Department)

Mark Payton hits a two-run home run; Nathan Thornhill throws seven strong innings to put the Longhorns within one game of the College World Series. (Image via University of Texas Athletics Department)

By Steve Habel - Horns Illustrated Associate Editor

When Nathan Thornhill and Mark Payton eschewed professional careers and decided to return for their senior seasons at Texas, there was a plan in mind – to help the Longhorns reach the lofty heights the program expects from its team each year.

Those two players, and a whole lot of their teammates, continued to make the plays and the pitches and produce the hits and runs that lead to success during a 4-2 win over Houston on Friday afternoon in the opening game of the NCAA Austin Super Regional before a sunbaked crowd of 7,385 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Texas (42-19) is now one victory away from

Steve Habel is a senior contributing writer for Horns Illustrated. He has covered Texas sports since 1989 and was this magazine’s senior editor for 24 years. You can follow him on twitter @stevehabel .