OMAHA, Neb. – Augie Garrido’s Texas baseball teams are built on pitching and defense, and those traits are helping the Longhorns at the College World Series.
Nathan Thornhill and John Curtiss combined for Texas’ second straight shutout, and the Longhorns forced a second-bracket final against Vanderbilt with a 4-0 victory Friday.
The Longhorns (46-20) and Commodores (48-20) will meet again Saturday, with the winner advancing to the best-of-three CWS final against Virginia or Mississippi.
The Virginia-Ole Miss game was suspended after a 93-minute lightning-and-rain delay at TD Ameritrade Park. The game, tied at 0-0, will resume Saturday at noon PDT with Virginia batting in the top of the second inning. The Cavaliers have runners on first and second base.
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Virginia would advance to the final with a victory in the suspended game. If Ole Miss wins, then the teams will play again Sunday to decide which one gets to the final.
For the second consecutive game, Texas pitchers didn’t allow a runner past second base. The Longhorns, who beat UC Irvine 1-0 on Wednesday, have held opponents scoreless in19 straight innings.
Thornhill left after the eighth inning, having thrown 131 pitches on an 88-degree afternoon against a Vanderbilt team that was set on going deep into counts.
“It was a dominating performance,” 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.”
Thornhill said he didn’t let the Commodores’ approach bother him.
“I wasn’t too surprised,” he said. “They’re probably looking for their pitch because they are good hitters, and if they’re going to take, I’m going to try to get ahead and throw my pitches, and that’s what happened today.”
Texas scored twice in each of the first two innings.
The Longhorns are batting a mere .198 at the CWS, but with the pitching staff operating as it is, no one in burnt orange seems worried.