The Big 12 Preseason Pitcher of the Year will get his first start on opening day when the No. 1 Texas Longhorns take on Rice Friday evening.
Hansen is headed into his third season with the Longhorns and is two years removed from a flawless 17 innings where he held a 0.00 ERA. Last season Hansen was a part of the Texas pitching staff that led the Longhorns deep into the Men’s College World Series with the nation’s best collective ERA.
Now, Hansen and his teammates are chomping at the bit to build off of last season and go the distance in 2022.
“I think there’s a little excitement in the locker room,” Hansen told the Austin American-Statesman. “We’re definitely hungry from last year. Obviously, we returned a lot of guys, so everyone kind of knows the taste of getting that close and not getting there. I think everyone wants to get back there and really go all the way this time. Obviously, for us, expectations are really high, but it’s really nothing new to us just because that’s the level that we put ourselves at. Every day with our work and how we approach that stuff, we put that pressure on ourselves. It’s not even pressure so much, it’s just kind of what we know we’re capable of, so for us, it’s really nothing new and that’s just kind of how we operate.”
While the Longhorns come in as D1Baseball’s top-ranked squad in 2022, Hansen says that’s cool, but it doesn’t affect their mindset going into the season.
“It’s an honor to be the preseason No. 1, but to us, it really doesn’t mean much. It doesn’t affect our work,” Hansen says. “It doesn’t affect who we are off the field as well as on the field. We’re still the same guys and we’re still going to carry ourselves like we’re the best team in the country. And it didn’t matter if we got ranked outside of the top 25. I feel like that’s the feeling we’ve been having for these past couple years. We’re really just going to do what we can do to be the best team in the country. People can have their outside opinions on us, but at the end of the days, we know who we are and if we trust that, then that’s who we’re going to be. The expectations are really high, but like I said, I think that we’re used to that, we’re used to holding ourselves to that standard in our work and everything we do. Those are the expectations we also have for ourselves. It’s an honor, but we’re used to it. That’s what we want.”