— Texas Baseball (@TexasBaseball) June 4, 2023
By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay
Trailing by three runs early, the Texas Longhorns scored nine in the third inning and went on to claim the NCAA Coral Gables Regional title with a 10-6 victory over the Miami Hurricanes.
The Longhorns erupted for nine runs on seven hits in the third. San Antonio’s Jalin Flores capped the outburst with a grand slam over the center field wall. Flores is a UT freshman from Brandeis High School.
Texas won the regional by winning three games in three days at the home of the Hurricanes. On Friday, they downed the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 4-2. On Saturday, they rode the pitching of Lebarron Johnson Jr. to a 4-1 victory over Miami, sending the Hurricanes into the losers bracket.
After downing Louisiana 8-5 on Sunday morning, Miami advanced to the finals, where it would need two victories over Texas to win the title. UT didn’t let that happen even though at times, the pitching was shaky. Starter Tanner Witt gave up an early three-run homer and was lifted after two innings.
In the third, UT went on an extended offensive run. Big hits early in the uprising including an RBI double by Jared Thomas and a two-run single by Peyton Powell. Later, Garret Guillemette stroked a two-run double. At that point, Miami reliever Carlos Lequerica walked two batters to load the bases.
Flores, the next man up, sized up the first pitch from Lequerica and sent it over the wall for his fourth home run of the season. The blow energized the UT dugout and gave the Longhorns a 9-3 lead.
With the lead, Longhorns reliever Charlie Hurley kept the Hurricanes in check until Yohandy Morales smacked a three-run homer in the seventh inning. The blow trimmed UT’s lead to 10-6. Closer Zane Morehouse entered in the seventh to finish out the game, pitching 2 and 2/3 scoreless while striking out seven.
Next week, Texas (41-20) will play in the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament against either longtime rival Texas A&M or national No. 8 seed Stanford. A&M and Stanford were playing late Sunday in the finals of the Stanford Regional. A&M can claim the regional title with one victory. Stanford needs to win twice to claim the title.