The Texas Longhorns continued their NCAA baseball College World Series journey with an 8-5 win over Mississippi State on Friday night in Omaha. Here are my three thoughts from the game as the Longhorns will play another elimination game on Saturday evening.
1. Ty Madden Was Ty Madden
The All-American pitcher continues to be great this postseason. He is arguably the best pitcher in college baseball and Friday was just another day in the office for Ty Madden. He went for six full innings as he struck out eight batters and allowed just two earned runs. Without Madden on the mound, Texas probably doesn’t win this game.
After his performance on Friday, it was his seventh straight start of six innings or more and 100 or more pitches, and fifth straight start allowing four hits or fewer. He currently has a postseason ERA of 1.76 in four starts. This just shows you how good of a pitcher he has been for Texas.
2. Late Night Bats Strike Again
Just like the night before in the Virginia game, Texas got key hits when they needed them the most. In the seventh inning, Texas was up 3-2 and they were able to add a couple runs thank to some key hits by Mike Antico and Ivan Melendez to give the Longhorns a 5-2 lead. Mississippi State would end up scoring three runs in the eighth to tie the game at five, but then it was up to Ivan Melendez to shine once again. With one out and two runners on in the top of the ninth, Ivan hit a three-run shot to give Texas an 8-5 lead. Melendez ended the game with a team-high four RBIs on the night and none was bigger than his three RBI clutch home run. Texas will need to continue to produce when the light shine brightest in Omaha to make it to the finals next week.
3. One Win Away
Well, here we are. Texas is now just one win away from advancing to the finals on Monday. The Longhorns have been playing elimination games for the last week and it has all come down to this one. If Texas can win their fourth game in five days, they will have earned the right to play for a title. However, they have one big problem standing in their way. Mississippi State will start Will Bednar and probably have Landon Sims close out the game. The last time Texas saw these two arms, they struck out over 20 times. The Longhorns will definitely have their work cut out for them on Saturday night.