OMAHA, Neb. -- Sophomore Kyle McCulloch and junior J. Brent Cox combined for nine shutout innings to lead No. 5 Texas to a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 1 Tulane in front of 26,941 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium during the second round of the College World Series (CWS) on Monday, June 20.
Notably, the shutout not only marked the 12th for the Horns this season, which is the most for a UT team since 1976 (12), but was also the first for Texas in the CWS since June 3, 1983 (a 12-0 win over James Madison in the opening round). The Longhorns (53-16) will now face the winner of an elimination game between Baylor and the Green Wave (55-11), on Wednesday, June 22nd at 6 p.m. Central on ESPN2.
The Longhorns jumped in front 2-0 in the bottom of the first as sophomore right fielder Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) led off with a single, moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a bloop single from senior shortstop Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) for a 1-0 UT advantage. Texas then received three consecutive singles to bring in another run before Tulane starter Brian Bogusevic worked out of the inning by getting a runner thrown out at home and inducing a groundout. Despite both teams threatening over the next few innings, the game remained that way through the top of the fifth as McCulloch (Houston, Texas) and Bogusevic held the respective offenses in check.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Longhorns received back-to-back singles from Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) and Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) in front of a two-out, bases-clearing double by David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) to push the Texas lead to 4-0. McCulloch then turned aside another Tulane challenge with two runners on in the sixth before Will Crouch (Austin, Texas) came up with his third hit of the ballgame to drive in Peoples from second with two outs in the bottom of the frame and make it a 5-0 contest. The Green Wave again threatened in the seventh when second baseman Joe Holland led off with a base hit and shortstop Tommy Manzella lined a shallow fly to center with two outs that Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) turned into the final out of the frame with a diving catch to keep the UT advantage in tact. After Texas went down quietly in the bottom of the seventh, Tulane's Micah Owings led off with a drive toward the right field stands that Peoples caught on a leap into the wall. From there, Cox, who had come on in the beginning of the eighth, retired five of the next six batters he faced to close out the 5-0 Texas victory. Picking up the win, which marked a CWS-record 75th all-time for Texas, was McCulloch, who scattered six hits and struck out seven over seven shutout innings to improve to 11-4 overall. Bogusevic, meanwhile, incurred the loss for Tulane despite tallying six strikeouts over seven innings of work.
Pacing the Longhorns offense, which has now posted 10 or more hits in 12 of 14 postseason games, was Crouch, who went 3-for-4 and tallied one RBI, and the trio of Kainer, Taylor Teagarden (Carrollton, Texas) and Maroul, who each collected two hits on the evening while combining to account for two runs scored and three RBI. On the other side of the ledger, the Green Wave was led by the tandem of Owings and Bogusevic, who each went 2-for-4 at the plate.
POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES
· The Longhorns played in their NCAA-record 128th CWS game this evening and now hold a 75-53 all-time record in Omaha.
· With its 75 wins, Texas now holds the most victories all-time at the College World Series.
· After collecting 11 hits against No. 1 Tulane on June 20, the Horns have now tallied 10 or more hits in 39 of 69 games in 2005, including 12 of 14 postseason contests.
· With three two-out runs on June 20, UT has plated 185 of its 456 runs to date with two away (41%).
· Tonight's attendance of 26,941 set a CWS session six record and marked the second-largest all-time in CWS history.
· Texas recorded its 12th shutout of the 2005 season which ties the 1976 squad for most shutouts in one season. Additionally, the shutout marked the 95th in CWS history.
· The Horns also posted its eighth shutout all-time at the College World Series and first since June 3, 1983, when Calvin Schiraldi tossed a complete-game shutout opposite James Madison (12-0).
· Senior shortstop Seth Johnston has hit safely in 58 of 69 games this season and owns 112 hits this season, which ties him with former Longhorn Tim Moss (112 in 2002) for the school record.
· Senior designated hitter Will Crouch has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 contests and reached base safely in each of those tilts. He also has multi-hit outings in seven of his last 10 games - a span during which he is batting .526 (20-for-38) with 12 runs scored, 11 RBI and two home runs.
· Sophomore Kyle McCulloch, who struck out seven over seven shutout innings, made his team-leading 22nd start of the season this evening against the Green Wave, which places him second on the school single-season chart behind Sam LeCure, who made 23 starts for Texas in 2004.
· Sophomore right fielder Nick Peoples owns hits in 14 of the last 15 games while batting .386 (22-for-57) with 18 runs scored and 10 RBI over that stretch.
· In seven career CWS games, Seth Johnston is a combined 11-for-32 (.344) with eight runs scored, two doubles, a pair of home runs and nine RBI to his credit.
· Junior closer J. Brent Cox made his 103rd career pitching appearance against No. 1 Tulane on June 20 and is within two outings of matching former Longhorn Huston Street's school career record of 105.
· Sophomore center fielder Drew Stubbs has reached base safely in 64 of 69 games this year and has hit safely in 56 of those contests.
Tulane Head Coach Rick Jones
Opening statement: We just got outplayed. They played a complete game. They pitched very well and took advantage of any breakdown we had. They did a good job with the top of our lineup which has been a strength of ours this postseason.
On being shutout: When you get to the College World Series you're going to see real good pitching. We'd like to score more but you've got to give credit to the pitcher from Texas. I don't think our approach at the plate was bad they just pitched very well.
On bouncing back after the loss: I have no doubt we'll be better. This club has won too many ball games to not rebound when we do have a slip up.
First baseman/Left fielder Micah Owings
On two-out hitting: With two outs we're not going to give in. It's an advantage for them to get the leadoff guy but we're not going to give in with two outs. We're going to keep coming at you.
Pitcher/DH Brian Bogusevic
On striking out in the 6th: I thought it was outside but that's because I was the batter. If they called it a strike it's a strike.
Texas Head Coach Augie Garrido
Opening statement: I thought the pitching on both sides was good, the defense was strong and there was timely hitting. We each left eight runners on base. I think the difference on the offensive side was the hits with runners in scoring position, and we even had an extra base hit with a runner in scoring position. That's what separated us in the game. The leadoff hitter got on base and we did a good job advancing the runners.
About starting pitcher Kyle McCullouch's performance: The best thing I think he did was establish himself. He got ahead in the count and took advantage of it. He got ahead in the strike zone. Kyle was very consistent. He was getting ahead in the count and pitching outside of the zone. When he got ahead in the count at 3-2 or 2-2, he threw a strike.
Texas starting pitcher Kyle McCulloch
About his performance: Guess the ball just bounced my way. When we got guys on base, it worked out a little better tonight.
About his team's defense: Unbelievable the plays they were making out there. I have a defense out there. I just let the defense make plays and get outs.
About Texas' CWS experience giving the team an advantage: The only advantage is we might be more relaxed than the other teams because we've been here before. We're trying to play our own game.
Texas third baseman David Maroul
About his 2-of-4 performance tonight: I was more relaxed than usual. I saw the ball better than I did lately.
Texas right fielder Nick Peoples
About his role as a leadoff hitter: My job as a leadoff hitter is to get runners on base. It doesn't have to be pretty, as you saw tonight. I try to hit the ball on the ground and beat it out.