It wasn't a banner year, but it was a step in the right direction.
Texas' 2017 baseball season was far from flawless, but the 'Horns were a much more exciting team under the direction of new coach David Pierce. Texas was one win away from a Super Regional, and have a young core to build on for the future.
Texas athletics posted a "Texas Baseball 2017 Season Recap" video on Tuesday that offered thoughtful insights from Pierce, as well as highlights from the season.
Pierce, who called Texas "the greatest team in baseball at the greatest university", said that the 'Horns' season closing series against West Virginia was crucial to getting his team off of the NCAA tournament bubble. The Longhorns took two of three from the Mountaineers.
"That was a critical weekend," Pierce said. "We had to win two out of three and we had to still do well in the Big 12 tournament -- and we accomplished both of those."
Though Texas lost in the Big 12 tournament championship game against Oklahoma State, the 'Horns were still able to earn a two-seed in the Long Beach regional.
Though the burnt orange was sent to California rather than staying close to home, Pierce saw opportunity in facing three other teams that played a similar style of baseball.
"I liked the draw because I felt like there were four balanced teams there," Pierce said.
Texas made it to the winner's bracket of the regional final, but was eliminating after falling in two straight one-run games to one-seeded Long Beach State.
"It was unfortunate that we didn't finish, but there's no way that I'm going to look at this season based on two ballgames because the body of work was tremendous," the first year coach said.
Several key Texas players will be moving on to the MLB in 2018, including ace pitcher Morgan Cooper and star first baseman Kacy Clemens. Pierce, however, remains optimistic that his 'Horns team will continue to improve off of his first year.
"The one thing I'm proud of is that we put the University of Texas baseball back on the national map, and we're going to build from there," Pierce said.