AUSTIN (KXAN) – With their backs against the wall facing elimination, the Longhorns kept their season alive with a 4-2 win over Tennessee Tech thanks to timely hits and incredible pitching.
After a great outing from Chase Shugart, who gave up just one unearned run on two hits and five walks in six innings while striking five batters, David Pierce made a surprise move and turned to Blair Henley.
On the first pitch he threw, Henley, who is usually Texas’ number three starter and was slated to start Monday’s elimination game, gave up a solo home run to David Garza to cut Texas’ lead in half at 4-2. But that was the only hit he gave up, and he settled down and struck out the next two batters he faced. Henley finished faced just 10 batters and struck out three in the final three innings to earn his first save of the season.
Texas and Tennessee Tech will play a winner-take-all game three Monday at noon. The Longhorns will be looking for their record, 36th appearance in the College World Series and their first since 2014, while The Golden Eagles will try to make it to Omaha for the first time in program history.
Kody Clemens carried Texas yet again. The All-American launched a solo homer to right, his 23rd of the season to put Texas up 3-1.
He also got the scoring started in the first. After David Hamilton walked to start the inning, Clemens brought him home with a double to center. The next inning, the Longhorns followed the same script with Jake McKenzie getting on with a leadoff walk and Ryan Reynolds bringing him home with a bloop double to left.
The Golden Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the second on a Clemens throwing error after David Garza appeared to ground into a double play. Hamilton fielded the grounder cleanly and got the force out at second, but Clemens’ throw to first was wide and allowed Chase Chambers to score to cut the lead to 2-1.