OMAHA, Neb. – Texas short stop C.J. Hinojosa hit the first home run of the 2014 College World Series and it proved to be the difference in the game as Texas defeated UC Irvine 1-0 in Game 9 on Wednesday night. Sophomore Chad Hollingsworth pushed his post season streak of innings pitched without allowing an earned run to 17 with eight scoreless innings pitched.
UC Irvine starter Evan Manarino had a solid outing for the Anteaters, not allowing a runner to reach second until Hinojosa’s home run ball in the seventh. It appeared the southpaw had surrendered a triple to Texas left fielder Ben Johnson but on an appeal he was ruled out at first for having missed the base in the sixth inning.
The miscue would cost the Longhorns as center fielder Mark Payton singled in the next at bat and would have scored Johnson. Instead, Manarino would retire catcher Tres Barrera on a groundout in the following bat to end the inning.
Manarino would allow only an earned run over six and one-third innings pitched on five hits and a walk with seven strike outs in the loss. The junior would give way to Evan Brock with an out and no one on in the seventh trailing 1-0.
Brock would keep Texas at bay for the next 2.2 innings and keep the Anteaters within reach, only down a run.
However, Hollingsworth was dominant for the Longhorns managing to cut down several UC Irvine scoring threats before leaving with one out and a runner on first in the ninth. Hollingsworth allowed four hits and struck out five in the scoreless effort.
Texas reliever Travis Duke came on to strike out Anteater Sophomore Jonathan Munoz looking on a borderline pitch for the first out. The strikeout was huge in the game as it kept the Anteaters from advancing Connor Spencer into scoring position so he was left at first with two outs. Duke would get Grant Palmer to pop out to end the game as Texas won 1-0.
Texas will face Vanderbilt on Friday at 2:00 pm and needs to win to force an elimination game on Saturday.