Longhorns eliminated from College World Series after 2 games, look forward to making another run next year

Senior+Outfielder+goes+in+for+a+bunt+on+April+23%2C+2022%2C+at+the+UFCU+Disch-Falk+Field.+

Mike Truong/The Daily Texan

Senior Outfielder goes in for a bunt on April 23, 2022, at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Hunter Dworaczyk, Sports Reporter

The Longhorns’ time in Omaha did not last as long as they would have liked.

With a 7-3 loss to Notre Dame on Friday and a 10-2 loss to Texas A&M on Sunday, Texas’ season ended with an 0–2 performance at the College World Series. 

“I’m a little numb right now because I don’t think anybody was really ready to end this thing,” head coach David Pierce said Sunday. “Unless you win it all, though, you’re going to feel this feeling. I’ll take this any day as opposed to not competing for the national championship.”

Despite the early exit in the College World Series, the Longhorns posted a 47–22 record and were one of the final eight teams in the country left standing for the second year in a row.

Disregarding the 2020 season when the College World Series was canceled, Pierce and company have advanced to Omaha in three of the last four years.

“Even at the University of Texas, you can’t take that for granted,” Pierce said. “It’s hard to get here.”

Entering the season as the No. 1 team, Texas was dealt more adversity than was expected, with starting sophomore pitcher Tanner Witt going down with a season-ending UCL injury in March. 

Initially expected to be among the elite pitching staffs in the country, the Longhorns’ pitching struggled throughout the season. A lack of experience out of the bullpen and a regression from last year’s trustworthy arms put enormous pressure on the starting pitchers each time they took the mound.

Yet Texas overcame its weakness by excelling with its bats. The Longhorns might have had their best statistical offensive season in history, blasting a program record 128 home runs, posting a .314 team batting average and fielding a lineup with seven players who tallied double-digit home runs on the year. 

The Longhorns’ lineup, led by Ivan Melendez, Dick Howser Trophy winner and Golden Spikes Award finalist, gave Pierce’s squad a chance to overcome the opponents’ big innings, which showed up multiple times on the team’s road to Omaha.

“We’ve been fighting to get our roles set,” Pierce said. “It’s been a work in progress for literally three months. Their accomplishment of getting (to Omaha) is hats off to not giving in.”

Although Texas’ roster is set to suffer heavy losses, with the majority of this year’s lineup expected to declare for the draft or run out of eligibility, Pierce and his staff have shown an ability to develop and get the most out of their players.

In terms of roster management, the transfer portal allows a team to rebuild faster than before. Already holding an incoming Top 15 freshman recruiting class, the Longhorns expect to be right back in contention for the College World Series in 2023.

“We’ll be alright,” redshirt senior outfielder Austin Todd said. “We’ll be right back here. I know coach Pierce will do a good job next year and get us right back.”