The Austin Super Regional began Saturday afternoon with Texas and Tennessee Tech starting a best of 3 series to determine who would go to the College World Series. The Golden Eagles pounded out 11 hits and got 4 great innings of relief from Ethan Roberts en route to a 5-4 victory in game 1.
Texas starter Nolan Kingham took the loss, dropping his record to 8-4 on the year. Kingham allowed 5 runs on 9 hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out 5 and walking 2. Tennessee Tech starter Marcus Evey picked up his 8th victory of the season, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits in 5 innings while striking out 4 and walking 3.
Texas opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st. Duke Ellis smacked an opposite field double off the glove of LF Collin Harris before moving up to third base on a pass ball. Kody Clemens walked to place runners at the corners, and Zach Zubia lifted a sacrifice fly to RF to give the Longhorns an early 1-0 lead.
In the top of the 3rd, the potent Tennessee Tech offense broke through for a pair of runs. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases with 1 out on a pair of singles and a walk. Brennon Kaleiwahea then hit an opposite field single into RF, scoring 2 runs and giving Tennessee Tech their first lead of the afternoon.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Longhorns responded with 2 runs of their own. Jake McKenzie led off the frame with the first of his 3 hits on the afternoon, a line drive double down the LF line. After advancing to 3rd on a groundout, McKenzie trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Duke Ellis. The next batter was Kody Clemens, who smacked his 22nd home run of the season to RF, giving Texas a 3-2 lead.
The Golden Eagles would retake the lead in the 5th behind the big bats of Chase Chambers and David Garza. Alex Junior led off the frame with a walk and Brennon Kaleiwahea quickly followed with a single into LF. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Chambers smashed a 2-run double off the wall in right-center and just out of the reach of Tate Shaw, giving Tennessee Tech a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, Garza roped an opposite field double into RF, scoring Chambers and pushing the lead to 5-3.
In the 7th, Texas used another sacrifice fly to trim the deficit to 5-4. Jake McKenzie ripped a 1-out opposite field double to right-center. After advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch, David Hamilton brought home McKenzie with a sacrifice fly to LF.
The Golden Eagles attempted to put the game out of reach in the 8th. After loading the bases with 0 outs, Texas brought in Parker Joe Robinson to replace Josh Sawyer. Robinson responded by striking out two straight batters before getting a ground ball back to the mound, helping keep the deficit at a run.
The Texas bats could not break through in the final two innings, however, as the Longhorns did not record a hit in either inning against Golden Eagles closer Ethan Roberts.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow at 2 PM CST. The Longhorns will need a win to force a decisive game on Monday afternoon. RHP Chase Shugart will start on the mound for Texas while Tennessee Tech will start RHP Travis Moths.