OMAHA, Neb. — The Texas Longhorns scored twice in each of the first two innings to back up the strong pitching effort of Nathan Thornhill and John Curtiss to force an elimination game at the the College World Series on Saturday. The winner between the Longhorns (46-20) and Commodores (48-20) will advance to the best-of-three finals against Virginia or Mississippi.
Texas pitching was dominant as the Longhorns staff did not allow a runner past second base for the second game in a row and now have help opponents scoreless over 19 consecutive innings. Thornhill would give Texas eight shutout innings scattering just six hits.
“It was a dominating performance,” Texas head Coach Garrido said. “I do think they were trying to run his pitch count up because of the heat to get him out of the game. He has the kind of command where he can capitalize on something like that.”
Vanderbilt starter Tyler Ferguson (8-4) lasted just two-thirds of an inning. Reliever Brian Miller went the rest of the way, holding Texas to four hits and striking out eight.
“Just couldn’t handle the moment,” Commodores coach Tim Corbin said. “That’s too bad because the kid deserves better. He works very hard, and he’s got great stuff, and you didn’t see Tyler Ferguson today, unfortunately
Despite managing just five hits the opportunistic Longhorns scored two runs in the first when after loading the bases C.J Hinojosa hit a line drive that struck umpire Mark Uyl resulting in a dead ball, allowing the runners to move up one base and scoring Brooks Marlow from third. Madison Carter then walked fording home another run to make it 2-0 .
The Longhorns tacked on two more in the second when Marlow tripled to right field scoring Zane Gurwitz. Marlow later scored on a sacrifice to make to 4-0.
Parker French (7-5), who gave up one run in 7 1-3 innings against Louisville on Monday, will go to the mound against Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Commodores will start Carson Fulmer (7-1), who got the win in their CWS opener against Louisville.