Looking back at Texas baseball’s top five moments of 2022 season

In a year filled with many ups and downs, Texas baseball managed to post a record of 47–22 with numerous standout performances from individual players. While Texas ended its run without a national championship after going 0–2 at the College World Series in Omaha, it was still a season to remember for Longhorn fans.

The Daily Texan’s baseball beat reporters, Hunter Dworaczyk and Jordan Mitchell, compiled a list of the top five moments of the season:

5) Tristan Stevens’ final out against Louisiana Tech

During the regional semifinal on June 4, sophomore starting pitcher Lucas Gordon gutted out a nine-hit, one-run performance in 5.1 innings of work. 

With the game tied at a run apiece, redshirt senior Tristan Stevens pitched 3.2 innings of relief, allowing one run and striking out five.

With all 8,502 fans packed into UFCU Disch-Falk Field on their feet, Stevens used three pitches to strike out Louisiana Tech’s final batter, sending the crowd into a frenzy and advancing Texas to the Austin Regional final.

“When the pressure is high, and everyone’s on their feet, and no one knows what’s going to happen, that’s when the game is the best for me,” Stevens said after the game. “I just love those moments.”

4) Pete Hansen’s complete game against TCU

The Longhorns participated in their fair share of high-scoring ballgames this season, so a 2-0 pitcher’s duel on April 8 stuck out as a key moment. In a college baseball season that saw teams across the country struggle to find consistent pitching, redshirt sophomore Pete Hansen allowing just two hits and one walk in a complete game shutout while striking out 12 TCU batters was sensational to witness.

The game against the Horned Frogs marked Hansen’s first career complete game, an accomplishment that had been years in the making. After dealing with COVID-19 and missing fall ball prior to the 2021 season, Hansen had to work tirelessly with the strength staff to regain the velocity and stamina that was present in his stellar freshman campaign in 2020. 

Hansen had more relatives in the stands than normal for the in-state matchup and gave his copy of the scorecard to his family after the game.

“It (was) a big deal for me to do this in front of them,” Hansen said after the game.

3) Ivan Melendez’s bat flip against South Carolina

Having already hit a home run in the first inning of Texas’ opening game against South Carolina on March 12, Ivan Melendez, Dick Howser Trophy winner, smashed his second of the day towards left center field to give Texas a commanding 9-5 lead. 

While there are few things a baseball player can do on the diamond cooler than hitting a home run, Melendez pulled it off. Less than a second after making contact with the ball, the redshirt junior flipped his bat halfway to the pitcher’s mound. Video of the bat flip exploded on social media, tallying over 1.1 million views on the Texas Longhorns Twitter account.

Melendez’s bat flip was undeniably cool — to everyone except Gamecocks fans.

2) Texas’ rally to win the Oklahoma series in Game 3

Trailing 7-1 in the seventh inning of game three on April 3 after splitting the first two games, Texas’ batting lineup was dead in the water until sophomore Dylan Campbell resuscitated it. 

With sophomore infielder Mitchell Daly and redshirt senior outfielder Austin Todd on first and second base, Campbell nuked an 84 mph fastball to the left-field bleachers at Globe Life Field in Arlington for a three-run homer, narrowing Oklahoma’s lead to three.

Campbell’s second home run of the series shook Oklahoma’s pitchers, who then walked two Longhorns before redshirt senior infielder Murphy Stehly hit a three-run homer of his own to tie up the ballgame and set the stage for a five-run ninth inning that ultimately brought home the win.

1) Dylan Campbell’s walk off against East Carolina

The Longhorns’ hopes of advancing to the College World Series looked to be as good as gone when they trailed 7-2 at East Carolina in game two of the Greenville Super Regional. Yet, the Longhorns were not done. Instead of writing themselves off, the Longhorns dug in on offense and scored two runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to three. After redshirt senior Skyler Messinger tied the game with a three-run homer in the eighth, Campbell launched a solo shot to give Texas the lead going into the ninth.

In the top of the inning, East Carolina’s Jacob Starling then launched a two-out solo home run to tie the game. Then, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded, Campbell shot the ball deep into right field. The ball landed safely onto the ground, allowing for the winning run to score for Texas.

“No matter what the score is or how late in the game it is, we know we are never out of it,” Campbell said. “We just keep fighting until the end.”

The Longhorns posted a dominating win in Game 3, sending Texas to Omaha for a record 38th time in program history.