No. 2 Texas defeats South Florida behind statement second inning, advances to 37th College World Series

Amsal Madhani, Sports Reporter

In the top of the second inning, Texas trailed South Florida 2-0 early in game two of the Austin Super Regional Sunday night.

With a College World Series berth on the line, the Longhorns needed to respond after falling behind early. The Longhorns responded in style with a four-run second inning that opened the floodgates. Texas then scored eight more runs to South Florida’s two as the Longhorns defeated the Bulls 12-4 to advance to the College World Series for the 37th time in program history.

In the all-crucial second inning, Texas had batters on first and second base with redshirt freshman infielder Trey Faltine up at the plate.

South Florida’s redshirt senior pitcher Collin Sullivan was faced with the tough task of preventing Faltine from putting the Longhorns in scoring position. He stepped up to the mound and threw a fierce fastball towards Faltine that the infielder hit with vicious intent down right-center field for a double, bringing redshirt junior infielder Cam Williams home and allowing redshirt freshman outfielder Douglas Hodo III to advance to third.

To follow that huge hit from Faltine, redshirt freshman catcher Silas Ardoin stepped up to the plate and hit another double to bring home Hodo and help Faltine advance to third.

Within the blink of an eye, the Longhorns were back in control of this game and had all the momentum going for them. They went on to score two more runs in the second inning to lead the Bulls 4-2.

“I always told y’all we can win in multiple ways,” redshirt junior pitcher Tristan Stevens, who got the start Sunday, said. “Yesterday was more of a pitching and defensive kind of day, and today our offense stepped up to the plate and delivered and look where we’re at now.”

The Longhorns offense was clicking on all cylinders Sunday night. Faltine had another strong performance, hitting the ball with great force as he recorded two doubles, including one in the third which got another run on the board for Texas.

Williams also had a great game for the Longhorns. He made some huge plays at the plate, including a two-run homer in the seventh inning to take the game out of the Bulls’ reach. Williams ended the night with four runs on one hit, and was walked a whopping four times by South Florida.

Texas also received a solid performance from Stevens on Sunday night. Although he struggled in the first inning, Stevens turned his game around and made some huge plays, including a 1-2-3 inning in the second to bounce back from a shaky start.

The Longhorns had an all-around great game Sunday night against South Florida. Their bats continue to get in a groove as they have scored double digit runs in four out of their last five games. Texas’ fielding and pitching groups have also been on a tear lately as they’ve held their opponents to less than five runs in their last five games.

Texas looks to continue to execute on both sides of the field as they move on to the College World Series in Omaha to compete for a seventh World Series title.

“We put in a lot of work, and we’ve talked about it since day one of keeping our heads down and just continuing to try to get better,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “To now have an opportunity to compete for a national championship is pretty special.”