Texas baseball to begin annual Fall World Series intra-squad event

Juan Ferro, sports reporter

Continuing an annual tradition on the Forty Acres, Texas baseball will begin its three-game Fall World Series on Thursday.

After a busy offseason with lots of turnover between departing players and new arrivals, this year’s rendition of the fall ball tradition will feature the newcomers taking on the returners.

On Tuesday, Texas Athletics adjusted the series schedule, with all games taking place at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Game one is set for Thursday at 6 p.m., game two will take place Friday at 4 p.m. and the series will wrap up with game three on Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free and the gates will open one hour prior to first pitch with free parking in the East Campus Garage.

Debuting two teams made up of Texas’ newcomers and veterans, the series will allow head coach David Pierce to showcase the players that will form the team during the season. The non-conference schedule has yet to be finalized, but conference play will begin on March 24 against Texas Tech in Austin. 

After compiling a 47–22 record last season with a College World Series appearance, Texas finished the year ranked No. 8 in the Division I Baseball Top 25. To date in the fall season, the Longhorns took down Houston 18-5 and San Jacinto College 24-1 in 14-inning exhibition games in October. 

After a bitter ending to the 2022 season, going 0-2 at the College World Series in Omaha and being eliminated by rival Texas A&M, junior pitcher Lucas Gordon will be a leader on the returners’ team as one of the more experienced pitchers on the roster. His 3.05 earned run average was the best among the team, and his 7–2 record last season was second only to Pete Hansen’s 11–3 record, who was selected in the third round of the MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in July. 

This weekend, the returners’ team will be without eight players who were selected in the MLB draft over the summer, Golden Spikes winner and former first baseman Ivan Melendez among them.

The wave of incoming freshman talent on the newcomers’ team will give Texas baseball a fresh face going into the spring season. Freshman shortstop Jalin Flores was ranked the No. 5 shortstop recruit from Texas, according to Perfect Game USA

Flores is joined by freshman infielder Jayden Duplantier, who earned 2022 PG Preseason All-American and All-Region 1st Team honors. Both were ranked among the top 500 recruits nationally by Perfect Game USA

While the newcomers benefit from young talent, the returners benefit from collegiate-level experience and known teammates. Notable returners to keep an eye on in this series include junior Dylan Campbell, sophomore pitcher Ace Whitehead and junior infielder Mitchell Daly. Some other newcomers to watch include TCU transfer Porter Brown, Long Beach State transfer Tanner Carlson and the USC transfer duo of Charlie Hurley and Garret Guillemette.

Fans can also watch Thursday’s opening game on Longhorn Network.