Texas survives ECU onslaught
After being humiliated by the East Carolina Pirates in Game 1 of the Greenville Super Regional, the Texas Longhorns found some answers in Game 2
Going into the sixth inning, the Texas Longhorns were trailing 7-2. East Carolina fans were starting to make travel plans for Omaha. And then the boys in burnt orange woke up.
A six-run seventh and eighth innings gave Texas the lead going into the ninth. Jacob Starling had something to say about that state of affairs, though, going yard in the top of the ninth for the Pirates to tie the game up at 8. The Longhorns took their bats in the bottom half and tried to walk it off.
Ivan Melendez led things off with a single to center field, his first hit of the day. As Mitchell Daly moves Melendez along 90 feet with a beautiful sacrifice bunt, Austin Todd got nothing to hit and took a walk. Skyler Messinger, whose three-run homer in the eighth brought the Longhorns to this spot, pops one into foul territory for the second out of the inning.
With two on and two out, Silas Ardoin got four terrible pitches and walked to fill the bases. It doesn’t get bigger than this for Dylan Campbell, bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth, tie game, this moment had it all. On a 1-2 delivery, Campbell ropes a beauty of an opposite field shot, landing just in front of the right field wall, for the walk off win by Texas 9-8, forcing a Game 3 in Greenville.
There were so many things that the Pirates did right, but in the end, the very thing that did not work for the Longhorns in Game 1, began to work for them in Game 2. Texas’ reliance on the big shots to get them to the dance has often been their undoing this season, but when it works, it makes for exciting baseball.
Game 3 will now go ahead on Sunday, June 12 and the Longhorns will have to go back-to-back to make it to Omaha.