After last season's regional exit, Augie Garrido said, "It needs to be fixed. I know how to fix it."
And he did. Texas is going back to the College World Series for the first time since winning the title in 2005. Seems so long ago, which is how it's supposed to feel at a school like Texas. We have certain, uh, expectations.
Freshman Taylor Jungmann said in today's Austin American Statesman, "I don't get nervous." Apparently not. He was brilliant tonight. He didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, and he only allowed four baserunners in six innings.
The one and only time TCU was able to threaten him was the sixth inning. A single and hit batter put the first two runners on with no one out. Jungmann then got the next hitter to ground weakly to him, and he got the lead runner at third. He then got Taylor Featherston to again ground to him for a 1-6-3 double play.
Austin Wood was not sharp tonight. I don't know if it was not pitching for a week or the fact that TCU has only two lefties in their lineup, but he got hit hard. He gave up five hits in a little over two innings and had to give way to Chance Ruffin to close it out.
TCU's 2-3-4 hitters were not a factor tonight. They combined to go 1-11 with three strikeouts and an inning ending double play. Their sole hit was a one out triple in the ninth.
The Texas hitters were much more aggressive tonight. Disciplined, but aggressive. They didn't chase the outside pitches off the plate they did yesterday, and it didn't appear that they took as many called strikes.
Michael Torres set the tone when he hit the first TCU pitch up the middle for a single. Texas then used their only sacrifice of the game to move him to second. Brandon Belt then tripled off the wall in center and scored on Russell Moldenhauer's ground out. Kevin Keyes then battled back from a 1-2 count and homered to right. Texas never looked back.
Texas scored two more in the fifth to go up 5-0. Kevin Keyes again battled back from being down 0-2 and doubled off the wall in right. He advanced to third on a passed ball, but Brandon Loy and Preston Clark were retired without scoring him. Cameron Rupp then hit a clutch double to left, and Connor Rowe followed with another clutch hit to score him.
And after the game, there was no dogpiling. No running onto the field. The players walked out of the dugout and congratulated each other. Expectations.
Texas is really playing well right now, winning 17 out of their last 20 games. We've got a good draw in the CWS. We get to play unseeded Southern Mississippi in the first game and then (hopefully) the winner of the North Carolina-Arizona State game in the winner's bracket. That gives us the option of changing up our pitching rotation like we did in the regional.