In one of the most anticipated matchup of the season, the Texas Longhorns (39-20) defeated the Texas A&M Aggies (40-21) by the score of 8-3. The win put the Longhorns in the championship game on Sunday afternoon and would have to be beat twice to exit the regional. The ‘Horns were in a similar situation last year in the Long Beach State regional, so hopefully Texas has learned from their experience.
So let’s get into this. Right off the bat, Texas went up three runs in the top of the first. A single up the middle of the infield by David Hamilton and a hit-by-pitch on Duke Ellis gave the ‘Horns two base runners early. The big highlight of the first inning was when the Big 12 player of the year Kody Clemens smashed a three-run home run over the right field fence, and it still might be going.
"This is the game and this is the series, where you cement your legacy if you're a Longhorn or an Aggie."— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2018
Kody Clemens. Legendary. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/tlUbC0eky8
After the Aggies added a run in the bottom of the third, the ‘Horns added a pair of their own in the top half of the fourth. DJ Petrinsky hit his second dinger in as many days, and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch to Zach Zubia extended the Longhorns lead 5-1. Although the bases were loaded, that’s all Texas could manage.
Longhorns kept their foot on the pedal with a pair of runs in the fifth and another run in the sixth. After a pair of singles from DJ Petrinsky and Tate Shaw, a Jake McKenzie sac fly scored Petrinsky from third. Subsequent to McKenzie’s at-bat, David Hamilton through the right side of the infield and scored Tate Shaw to extend the lead by six runs at the end of five. The next inning, Kody Clemens went yard for the second time in the game and extended the Longhorns lead 8-1.
Although the Aggies added one in the sixth and eight innings, Nolan Kingham kept on dealing throughout the entire Aggie lineup and kept the opportunities at a minimum for the Texas A&M batters. Kingham’s night came to end in the eighth inning as the junior right-hander gave a strong performance to limit the Aggie offense to three runs. Kingham’s stat line is listed below:
Nolan Kingham – 7.2IP, 9H, 2ER, 8K, 1BB
Andy McGuire came into the ninth inning to close the game out and give the Longhorns the victory.
Texas will await the winner of the Texas A&M/Indiana matchup early Sunday afternoon, as the Longhorns will look to pitch Blair Henley for the championship round of the regional. One win is all it’s going to take for Texas to advance to the Super Regional and await the winner of the Oxford regional.