No. 5 Baseball earns program's 34th NCAA College World Series berth with 4-2 win over ASU
June 12, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The No. 5 Texas Longhorns used exemplary staff pitching and timely hitting to punch their ticket to the NCAA Men's College World Series on Sunday by beating the Arizona State Sun Devils 4-2 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in game three of the Austin Super Regional.
This marks the 34th College World Series berth for the Longhorns, an NCAA record.
Riccio Torrez gave the Sun Devils an early first-inning lead with a two-run home run over the right field wall off of Texas pitcher Sam Stafford.
UT responded with in the bottom half of the inning to cut the deficit in half. After Mark Payton reached base with a one out walk, Brandon Loy took the first pitch he saw to left field for a double, putting two men in scoring position. Erich Weiss then hit a ground ball out to the short stop, but Payton scored to bring the Longhorns within 2-1.
Nathan Thornhill came in the top of the fifth to relieve Stafford, who finished with two strikeouts and two earned runs through four full innings.
The Longhorns tied up the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Loy started off the inning with a base hit. Weiss followed up with a single to left field, putting runners on first and second with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Walsh moved both runners into scoring position. A balk by Arizona State pitcher Mitchell Lambson (7-4) brought in the tying run.
UT used the momentum from the previous inning to grab hold of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Tant Shepherd hit a double down the left field line with two outs, and Payton took advantage with a hard-hit single to right, bringing home Shepherd and giving the Longhorns their first lead of the game. Payton used a stolen base and a throwing error on Sun Devils first baseman Zach Wilson to reach third. Loy responded with a fly ball over the left fielder's head, earning himself a double and bringing in Payton for another run to give UT a 4-2 lead.
Hoby Milner (7-4) earned the win for the Longhorns, pitching two and one third scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Corey Knebel earned his 19th save of the year, tying him with J. Brent Cox and Charlie Thames for the most single season saves in UT history.
The Longhorns will face the Florida Gators in their first game at the College World Series on Saturday, June 18.