Bocchi to start for Texas against Tennessee Tech

Junior Matteo Bocchi has been named as the starting pitcher for the Texas Longhorns against Tennessee Tech in Monday’s third and deciding game of the Austin Super Regional.

The game starts at noon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, with the winner earning a berth in the College World Series.

Bocchi will be making his 20th appearance of the season and only his fourth start. He comes in with a 3-1 record and a 3.34 earned run average in 32 and 1/3 innings.

His last start came on May 23 against Kansas in Texas’ opener at the Big 12 tournament.

Bocchi walked four and gave up two runs in an eventual 3-2 loss to the Jayhawks.

The decision to start Bocchi comes a day after Texas coach David Pierce elected to use Blair Henley in relief Sunday in Game 2 against Tennessee Tech.

Texas needed a victory to avoid elimination, and Henley responded by giving up one run in three innings to preserve a 4-2 victory that tied the Super Regional at one win apiece.

Bocchi, a transfer from Odessa College, is the first Italian-born student-athlete to play baseball at Texas. His hometown is Parma, Italy.

In 2013, he threw a 9-inning shutout for Team Italy in its win over the Czech Republic at the Under-18 World Cup.

Bocchi played in the 2008 Little League World Series representing Italy with the Emilia Little League.

It was the country’s first native team to qualify for Williamsport.

He later played in high school for ITE Melloni in Parma, Italy.