In a win-or-win situation for head coach David Pierce and No. 2 ranked Texas baseball got the performance they needed to stay alive. The College World Series was set to still contain at least one of the two best seeds in Omaha this week after this match between Texas and the 3rd ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
Since the Arkansas Razorbacks as No. 1 were eliminated in the Fayetteville Super Regional by the NC State Wolfpack, Texas and Tennessee remained the top two seeds in Omaha.
Texas had redshirt junior right hand Tristan stevens on pile to start in this critical College World Series elimination game meeting with Tennessee. Although this was not the best start to the season for Stevens, the Texas bats picked him up when needed.
Stevens gave Longhorns less than four innings on the mound, with four earned runs and just one strike. It was the effort out of the bullpen from Tanner Witt who actually saved the Longhorns that day. Witt gave Texas 5.2 finishing laps, with only three hits allowed.
The power of the Longhorns bats gave more than the promise Witt needed out of the bullpen to get an edge against Vols. By the bottom of the fourth inning, Texas had already gathered a 7-4 lead, and never looked back.
Eric Kennedy and Tanner Witt give Texas the baseball pressure they need to beat Tennessee
Texas had a great day Eric kennedy and Cam Williams with the bats. Kennedy picked up where he left off in the Austin Super Regional with three run-in races, two races and two hits, in four bats. Kennedy led the Longhorns in the RBI’s June 22nd.
Williams also gave Longhorns two RBIs on one hit, in four bats.
Every time it seemed like Tennessee was starting to run with its bats, the Longhorns and even one upstairs answered them. Texas responded to a two-run stop in the second round for the Vols with three separate runs at the bottom of the second. The same could be said for the way the fourth round went for Tennessee and Texas.
Kennedy and Williams gave a great show for the Texas bats. Texas collected eight races in just seven hits a day. It was largely thanks to a glorious base that ran by the Longhorns. Texas acquired a program-best four steals in a College World Series game this afternoon against the Vols.
Kennedy and Williams also had a stolen base each of the four for Texas on the day.
Tennessee pitching staff struggled in the afternoon, with each of the first three pitchers giving up at least two earned races. Texas got the stakes out of the bats needed in the College World Series opening game against the No. 7 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.
After losing to Texas and No. 6 ranked the Virginia Cavaliers, the race for the Vols is now over in Omaha before it could really get started.
Texas now holds a record of 48-16 after this victory over Tennessee. There is still no room for error again for the Longhorns in Omaha, but they are now one step closer to prominence. Meanwhile, Tennessee ends the season with a record of 50-18 when they return to Knoxville.