Texas and fellow Big 12 member Texas Tech won their best-of-three super regionals on Monday and became the fifth and sixth teams to advance to the College World Series.
Kody Clemens homered for the third straight game and fill-in starter Matteo Bocchi held Tennessee Tech to one run in a career-high five innings as the Longhorns locked up their NCAA record-extending 36th CWS appearance with a 5-2 win in Austin.
Texas Tech’s Gabe Holt, Brian Klein and Michael Davis homered, and the Red Raiders beat Duke 6-2 for their third trip in five years to the CWS in Omaha, Nebraska.
The eight-team CWS field was to be filled out Monday night after South Carolina played Arkansas and Auburn met defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Florida in Game 3s.
Bocchi was called on to make his fourth start of the season because the Longhorns’ No. 3 starter, Blair Henley, was unavailable after throwing three innings of relief Sunday.
David Pierce is taking the Longhorns to Omaha in his second year as coach after spending the previous five seasons at Tulane and Sam Houston State.
“It’s never been about me and it never will be, but the thing that I loved is I told these guys back in the fall I want this for you guys,” Pierce said. “But I also want it for those three coaches who have been with me for seven years. To watch all that happen today was really, really special, and I’m just so proud of our team.
“I’ve said before, we’re not always pretty; a lot of times we’re ugly. But we just figure out how to keep playing, and that’s what’s so special about this group.”
Texas Tech’s Josh Jung went 4 for 5 and Holt, the Big 12 freshman of the year, continued his postseason tear by 2 for 4. Holt finished the super regional 7 for 12.
John McMillon and Dylan Dusek combined to pitch three innings of shutout relief, with McMillon getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth with the Red Raiders holding a 4-2 lead.
The CWS opens with first-round games Saturday and Sunday. The NCAA was to set the weekend schedule after super regionals.
North Carolina vs. Oregon State: Tar Heels are 1-4 all-time vs. the Beavers; all five meetings in 2006-07 CWS finals.
Washington vs. Mississippi State: Bulldogs are 4-1 vs. Huskies; last meeting in 1998.
Texas vs. South Carolina or Arkansas
Texas Tech vs. Florida or Auburn.
ANOTHER CLEMENS IN CWS
Clemens will be the third member of his family to play in the CWS. His dad, Roger, pitched on two Texas teams that made it to Omaha and won the national title in 1983 before he went on to a major-league career in which he won seven Cy Young Awards and two world championships. Kody’s older brother, Kacy, was the first baseman for the 2014 Texas team that came within one win of playing in the CWS finals.
“It means a lot,” Kody said. “Kacy and all my brothers have told me that it’s the best time of your life. My dad definitely said it was one of his favorite moments ever playing baseball. I think that everyone is pretty excited. I’m definitely super excited. It’s going to be fun, and we have unfinished business.”
The Detroit Tigers’ third-round draft pick and Big 12 player of the year led the 2018 Longhorns’ trek to Omaha. He’s batting .500 (11 for 22) in the NCAA Tournament with five home runs, two doubles and 11 RBIs.
HE SAID IT
“We had five hits today and a season-low three yesterday. To be able to do that to this group of young men, I am honestly amazed, to be frank with you.” — Tennessee Tech coach Matt Bragga, on Texas shutting down the nation’s No. 1 offense.