The Texas baseball team couldn’t overcome its Achilles heel on Saturday, and it cost the Longhorns dearly.
Texas (43-20) stranded 12 base runners, including eight in scoring position, as the Longhorns dropped its opening college world series game 3-1 to UC-Irvine. Failed scoring chances has haunted Texas all season.
The Longhorns missed out on scoring opportunities in the first, second, third, fifth and seventh innings. Texas had runners in scoring position with one out in four different innings, yet only managed a single run.
Texas got on the board in second inning. Colin Shaw doubled down the right field line. A Madison Carter sacrifice moved Shaw to third. Kacy Clemens reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with one out. Zane Gurwitz dropped down a safety squeeze for an RBI single to get Texas on the scoreboard. Brooks Marlow followed with a single to load the bases. Unfortunately, Texas would not be able to add to its lead as Ben Johnson struck out and Mark Payton grounded out to end the inning.
Nathan Thornhill (8-3) pitched seven strong innings. Thornhill worked out of a jam in the first, and cruised along until the eighth. That’s when the wheels came off.
Adam Alcantara led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. Taylor Sparks followed with a deep drive to center field for an RBI triple, tying the game at one. John Curtiss came in to relieve Thornhill and promptly gave up a single to Chris Rabago that scored Sparks to give UC-Irvine a 2-1 lead. Curtiss allowed another single before Johnathan Munoz increase the Anteater lead to 3-1 with an RBI single.
Andrew Morales worked six innings for UC-Irvine (41-23). The All-American continuously worked out of jams to keep his team in the game. Evan Manarino and Evan Brock worked the final three innings. Brock (9-6) struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
Texas will face Louisville on Monday in the loser’s bracket. Parker French is expected to start for Texas.