The road to Omaha began last week as 64 teams started their postseason journey. Now the field has been cut down to just 16 as we head to the Super Regionals. The Texas Longhorns started their Super Regional on the road in Palo Alto, California as they took on the Stanford Cardinal. Here are my five thoughts on the Longhorns 8-3 loss on Sunday night.
1. Quinn Matthews Was Too Good
On Sunday evening, the Longhorns got to face the Pac-12 pitcher of the year in Quinn Matthews. He has been the ace for Stanford, and he certainly looked like it in game two of this Super Regional. Quinn pitched a complete game and allowed just three runs. He also managed to strikeout 16 batters on the evening which ended up being a career high and the second most by a D-1 pitcher this season. I don’t think there are many teams that could do a lot of damage against a guy like Matthews in this situation and he dominated against a good Texas lineup.
2. Lebarron Johnson Jr. Wasn’t Himself
After watching Lebarron mow down batters in the Miami Regional, he had some trouble out in Palo Alto. Against the Hurricanes last weekend, Lebarron pitched a complete game and allowed just one run. But against Stanford, he only pitched a little over four innings and allowed three runs before being pulled.
It was odd to see him struggle out there and Texas will need him to bounce back if they are able to make it to Omaha.
3. There Was No Ninth Inning Magic This Time
On Saturday night, Texas rallied to take game one of this series. The Longhorns scored five runs in the ninth inning as they beat Stanford 7-5. On Sunday night, Stanford once again had a late game lead as they were up 5-3 going into the eighth inning.
Texas showed some life in the seventh when Mitchell Daly hit a solo blast to make it a two-run game but unfortunately his team couldn’t get anything else going against Stanford pitcher Quinn Matthews. This time Stanford ended up being the team that scored in the ninth inning as they were able to put three more runs on the board to go up 8-3.
That was more than enough to win this game as Texas never got close to scoring another run after Daly’s homer in the seventh.
4. The Sprinkler Had Enough
When you watch the game of baseball long enough, you can see some pretty crazy things. From fans running on the field to objects being thrown on the field. However, in all of my years watching college baseball I am not sure if I have ever seen a sprinkler go off during a game.
Thankfully the folks over at Stanford were able to turn it off so the game could continue. I have no clue if that is a good sign or a bad one for Texas, but I guess we will find out soon enough.
5. A Showdown Awaits
Despite a disappointing loss on Sunday, the Longhorns still have another chance at taking this series on Monday. Just one game stands in their way of the going back to Omaha. Their season comes down to Monday’s game and I hope that Texas is ready to play. This team is good enough to make it to a College World Series and it would be a shame if they don’t make it there.