AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – C.J Hinojosa drove in two runs and Parker French pitched six scoreless innings as Texas beat Houston 4-0 Saturday to win an NCAA super regional and advance to the College World Series.
Texas (43-19) is headed to Omaha for the 35th time, more than any other school, after missing the NCAA tournament altogether the previous two years. The Longhorns’ last trip to the CWS was in 2011.
The Longhorns will face the winner of the super regional between Oklahoma State and California-Irvine, which the Anteaters lead 1-0. The first game in Omaha would be on June 14.
Texas has won the World Series six times, including twice under current coach Augie Garrido – most recently in 2005.
The 75-year-old Garrido has won 1,917 games, more than any collegiate baseball coach, in 46 seasons – the last 18 at Texas.
However, Texas did not receive a bid to the tournament the past two seasons, the first time the Longhorns had been left out since 1997 and 1998 – Garrido’s first two seasons as coach.
Longhorns center fielder Mark Payton and Nathan Thornhill – the winning pitcher in Friday’s series opener – said they returned for their senior seasons instead of signing professional contracts to help restore the program.
Payton was selected in the 16th round of the MLB draft by Cleveland last year and Thornhill was taken by Houston in the 24th round. Both elevated their status this season as the New York Yankees picked Payton in the seventh round, and Thornhill went to Philadelphia in the 13th.
After winning Game 1, Thornhill said, “This is where this program belongs.”
On Saturday, Payton had a single and two walks to extend his streak of reaching base to 101 games.
Josh Vidales had three singles for Houston (48-18), giving him six hits in the super regional. But Houston left 14 runners on base Saturday.
Texas scored four times in the fourth inning against Houston starter Aaron Garza (9-5). Hinojosa drove in two with a single to right-center, Collin Shaw had a sacrifice fly, and Kacy Clemens added an RBI single.
Houston (48-18) loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Frankie Ratcliff grounded to first, and Clemens threw home for a force out. Michael Pyeatt followed with a grounder to second.
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