The Texas Longhorns continued their NCAA baseball College World Series journey with an 8-4 win over Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon in Omaha. Here are my three thoughts from the game as the Longhorns will play another elimination game on Thursday.
1. The Bats Woke Up
After striking out 21 times against Mississippi State in the opener, the Longhorns offense finally saw life for the first time in Omaha. Eric Kennedy got Texas started with a three-run blast in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead before Cam Williams got an RBI in the next inning. From there, the Longhorns added two more in the fourth after Williams and Ardoin hit RBI singles to make it a 7-4 ballgame after four innings. While the Vols ended up with two more hits, Texas was much more efficient with runners on base. They will need to continue that if they want to keep their title hopes alive in the next few days.
2. Tanner Witt Was Incredible
After starting pitcher Tristan Stevens allowed four earned runs in just a little over three innings of work, Tanner Witt took the mound. The freshman pitched a total five and two-thirds innings to close out the game and he was outstanding. He allowed just three hits and didn’t give up a single run. Yes, he had only two strikeouts, but he was efficient in his outing, and I fully expect to see Tanner in the starting rotation for the Longhorns in 2022.
3. What’s Next?
Despite the big win on Tuesday, Texas still has their work cut out for them in Omaha. They will take on the loser of the Mississippi State/ Virginia game on Thursday. However, before we get to that game, believe it or not this was the Longhorns first College World Series win since 2014. Also, this was head coach David Pierce’s first College World Series win. With that out of the way, Texas needs to get back to work and be ready on Thursday.