National Championship moments: 2005 Baseball
Coming off a second-place finish at the College World Series (CWS), the Longhorns began the 2005 season ranked No. 1 and went on to live up to the preseason ranking.
Texas rattled off 16 straight wins to open the year, including a three-game sweep of No. 5 Stanford. Following their first loss of the season at No. 10 Arizona, the Horns bounced back to win the series and followed with three wins over Purdue to enter conference play with a 21-1 record.
The Longhorns were swept by No. 16 Baylor to open Big 12 action, but Texas bounced back by winning 12 of its next 15 league games, including series wins at No. 4 Nebraska and Oklahoma State. UT added a 7-6 win at No. 15 Rice and a three-game sweep of Oklahoma that included a no-hitter by Adrian Alaniz.
Despite the surge, the Longhorns dropped three of their final four conference road games down the stretch and had to settle for a third-place league finish with a 16-10 mark. After dropping its opener at the Big 12 Tournament, Texas responded with wins over Kansas and Oklahoma State to move into the semifinal round. Although the Horns battled toe-to-toe with No. 13 Baylor in the semifinals, the Bears managed to pull out a one-run victory and eliminated UT from the Big 12 Championship.
With a 45-14 record, the Horns received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and were given the honor of hosting a regional with Arkansas, Miami (Ohio) and Quinnipiac.
Following an opening-round win over Quinnipiac, the Horns lost to Arkansas and faced elimination. With its back against the wall, Texas logged wins over Miami and Arkansas to force a deciding game against the Razorbacks. Texas captured its 30th regional title with a 5-2 win and was headed to Oxford, Miss., to face No. 8 Mississippi in a super regional series.
Texas found its back to the wall once again after dropping the first game of the best-of-three super regional against Ole Miss, 6-4. Riding the arm of Alaniz, who allowed one run over 6.2 innings, the Horns built a 3-1 lead heading into the seventh inning of game two. Buck Cody pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings to move the game to the ninth. The Rebels managed to load the bases with one out against All-American J. Brent Cox, but he induced a game-ending double play to seal the win.
The best-of-three series came down to the last four innings of game three. With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of thee sixth, Will Crouch hit a solo home run and Robby Hudson added an RBI single to give the Horns a 5-3 win. When Ole Miss responded with one run in the eighth, UT came right back in the bottom of the frame with a run of its own to make it a 6-4 game. Cox came on for the ninth inning and with two runners on and two outs, he struck out his next batter to send Texas to its 32nd CWS appearance.
Advancing to Omaha for the fifth time in six seasons, the Longhorns faced a tough road with conference rival Baylor, No. 1 Tulane and Oregon State in their half of the eight-team bracket. In the opener, Texas drew the Bears, who the Horns had lost to four straight times during the season.
Texas pounced on No. 4 Baylor early with Seth Johnston hitting a two-run home run in the first inning. Alaniz and Cox took care of the rest by limiting the Bears to one run on eight hits in the 5-1 win..
No. 1 Tulane was next in line for the Longhorns. The Horns once again got an early lead and rode solid pitching to the win with Kyle McCulloch and Cox combining on a 5-0 shutout. McCulloch scattered six hits and struck out seven over seven innings.
The Longhorns were slated to face Baylor again with a win sending UT to the best-of-three national championship series. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, UT plated the tying run when Nick Peoples scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of All-America Drew Stubs. After a Bears' rally was averted in the top of the ninth on a diving catch by Stubbs, Chance Wheeless, who had suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the game, led off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run to lift Texas to a 4-3 victory.
Playing for the national title for the third time in four years, the Horns would now face SEC champion Florida in a best-of-three showdown.
In game one, Texas built a 4-0 lead by the fourth, which was more than enough for Alaniz and Cox, who combined to allow only two runs on four hits while striking out 11 as the Horns went on to claim a 4-2 victory.
With Florida facing elimination, UT sent McCulloch back to the mound and he delivered again. While he held the Gators hitless through the first four innings, the Horns grabbed a 2-0 lead on an RBI single from David Maroul in the second and an error in the fourth. Two innings later, Wheeless connected on a solo home run in front of a three-run round-tripper off the bat of Maroul to give Texas a 6-0 lead. Florida cut the lead to 6-2 with a two-run dinger in the seventh, but Randy Boone and Cox combined on 2.1 innings of one-hit relief to seal the Horns' sixth national championship.
Texas boasted three All-Americans and head coach Augie Garrido was named the National Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career. Maroul was named the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series.