Sophomore shortstop C.J Hinojosa crushed a ball into the leftfield bullpen to lead off the seventh inning and give Texas the only run it would need to defeat UC Irvine, 1-0, Wednesday night in Omaha.
Hinojosa’s homerun was only his second of the season, and the first homerun of the 2014 College World Series.
This was Texas’ first ever victory against the Anteaters, who eliminated them in Regional play in 2007 and defeated the Longhorns, 3-1, last Saturday.
Sophomore Chad Hollingsworth dominated UC Irvine in eight and a third innings, allowing only four hits while striking out five.
The Longhorns looked likely to get on the board in the sixth inning when sophomore leftfielder Ben Johnson appeared to have hit a one out triple. However, Johnson missed first base and was called out by the umpire. Senior centerfielder followed with a single that easily could’ve scored Johnson, but instead resulted in nothing.
It seemed the Anteaters had the opportunity to seize momentum with a runner in scoring position in the bottom half, but Hollingsworth got a strike out to end the threat.
Texas nearly got into some trouble in the eighth inning when Hollingsworth hit a batter who got to second via a sacrifice bunt, bringing up Taylor Sparks, who hit a game-changing triple in the eighth inning of the game last Saturday. But Hollingsworth got Sparks to pop-out and then got a ground-out to end the threat.
Hollingsworth allowed a hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth and left the game with one out and a man on second after a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Travis Duke closed the game with a strike out and a pop out, advancing Texas to the next round.
The Longhorns now have the daunting task of having to defeat Vanderbilt twice to advance to the Championship Series. The first pitch at TD-Ameritrade Park is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.