Texas made it three for three for the Big 12 teams from Texas in NCAA Super Regional action on Saturday. Texas defeated Houston for the second consecutive day, winning their Super Regional series and becoming the first of the eight teams that will advance to the College World Series in Omaha.
The Longhorns recorded their 11th shutout of the season with a 4-0 home victory that sends Texas to the College World Series for a record 35th time.
Texas scored all of its runs in the fourth inning. Shortstop C.J. Hinojosa broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single. Hinojosa is batting .476 (10 for 21) in postseason play this season, including two doubles and six RBI. Mark Payton extended his consecutive games on-base streak to 101 with a single in the opening frame.
It was a big day for Texas starter Parker French on Saturday. French pitched six innings of five-hit, shutout ball, before turning things over to the Longhorn bullpen. Earlier in the day, French was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
Houston’s biggest scoring threat came in the fifth inning when the Cougars loaded the bases with one out, but French pitched out of the jam without allowing a run and leaving three runners stranded.
“It’s about runs, not hits,” Texas coach Augie Garrido said in his postgame press conference. “They had 10 (hits), we had eight. So it’s about runs. Parker (French) was terrific, as were the relief pitchers that came in and picked him up.”
Asked if he thought the Longhorns would advance this far in the postseason after they began to struggle in April, the Texas coach said: “I knew that we could, but I didn’t know that we would be willing to make the sacrifices that it takes to be selfless and to really, legitimately commit their heart and soul to get the next guy to the plate and the opponent out. And that’s what it took.