It seems to take an elimination game to get this Texas Longhorns baseball team to play at its best, but once more with their backs to the wall this team delivered a brilliant performance, defeating Arizona State 5-1 in Game 2 of the Austin Super Regional to force a decisive third game on Sunday. Cole Green set the tone with 5 very solid innings, Corey Knebel closed it out with 2 perfect frames, and Texas put the game away with a 3-run homer by... wait for it... Jordan Etier, who in the 9th inning blasted an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall to break the game open.
Baseball's a funny game, isn't it? After utterly dismal performances in the past two games -- in which he literally struggled just to make contact with the ball -- Etier couldn't 't have been crisper at the plate tonight, delivering well-hit singles in two of his first three at-bats, before delivering the huge 3-run bomb in the 9th. And on the other end of the spectrum, Brandon Loy, who has been Texas' most locked-in batter at the plate, was helpless tonight, struggling mightily in each of his trips to the plate.
For the second straight game, Texas's pitchers were damn effective against one of college baseball's most potent line ups, and above all else that's the reason we'll be heading back to the Disch tomorrow night for a winner-take-all Game 3 versus the Sun Devils. It's impossible to say who, if anybody, is going to hit the ball for Texas tomorrow, but if they get a third straight game of great pitching and get it done defensively, the 'Horns can advance with 'just enough' offense.
One game to Omaha. Hook 'em!