There is something about a good clean fight that is exhilarating to watch. Then again, it sure would be great if there was no fight required and you could still win. Life does not seem to work that way, or rarely if ever does.
The 2023 NCAA Stanford Super Regional ending was emotional and the loss heart wrenching, but the fight, well that was awesome.
The game was a winner take all match, the victor awarded an opportunity to play in the 2023 College World Series.
Texas trailed most of the game. In the top of the fourth Texas landed three punches. The flurry started when Porter Brown singled to center. Eric Kennedy went right with a single so Brown ran to third base. Jalin Flores walked to give Texas a bases loaded scenario with two outs.
Jack O’Dowd goes to the plate and rips a double to right field that cleared the bases; Brown, Kennedy, and Flores scored to tie the game 3-3.
Stanford would try to crush the Texas spirit when they immediately scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth that put the lead 6-3
The game would go scoreless over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings and Texas would strike out six times. Stanford struck out twice and left two on base. Texas left six on base during those innings.
Top of the eight Texas came alive again that started with a Flores walk, O’Dowd doubled again to put Flores on third. Mitchell Daly popped out, but Flores tagged and scored. Peyton Powell doubled to right that allowed O’Dowd to score. Dylan Campbell came to the plate and doubled up the middle which allowed Powell to score and tied the game 6-6.
The game tied, Texas bats hot, Stanford comes to the plate in the bottom of the eight. First batter was walked by Zane Morehouse who pitched a fantastic six innings, faced 27 batters, threw 80 pitches (47 strikes), gave up three runs, and struck out four.
Coach Pierce walks to the mound and calls in Lucas Gordon. Fans should know the significance of this. First, Gordon has been Texas’ Friday night starting pitcher.
Several weeks back during media availability that we called ‘In The Dugout’ segment, we gave coach Pierce an hypothetical scenario and asked who would be put on the mound.
It is the most important game of the season for Texas. This is it, the winner gets on a play bound for Omaha for CWS. Pierce calls in Lucas Gordon, Texas’ best pitcher.
The most incredible baseball happened after Stanford put runners on first and second with one out and the game on the line. Either a single or deep pop fly could score a runner.
Stanford’s best hitter, Tommy Troy who is batting 397 on the season, hits a fly ball to right field to an awaiting Dyan Campbell who caught the ball for out two, however the runner on second tags and is en route to third.
Dylan Campbell wasted no time and threw a laser to third base and threw out Saborn Campbell (no relation) at third for a double play.
Texas Fight is on!
Ninth inning Texas does not score and the game remains tied 6-6. Stanford bottom of the ninth and Lucas Gordon retired the first two batters. The excitement, nerves, and drama had redlined.
Next batter doubled, then Gordon walked the next batter to put runners on first and second with two out. Drew Bower hit a high pop up to center/right center that would easily end the inning 99.9999999% of the time, but the ball flew into an astral plain that shielded it from sight and it dropped just feet away from being caught.
Texas season ends 42-22 and it absolutely without question cannot be called a rebuilding year.