— Texas Longhorns (@TexasSports) June 10, 2018
Kody Clemens doubled and homered and drove in two runs Sunday as the Texas Longhorns beat Tennessee Tech, 4-2, to tie the best-of-3 Austin Super Regional at one win apiece.
A deciding Game 3 is set for noon Monday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, with the winner earning a berth in the College World Series.
Shutting down an explosive offense, Chase Shugart pitched six innings and Blair Henley the last three for the Longhorns, who were facing elimination after losing the series opener 5-4 on Saturday.
Shugart experienced some problems with control but pitched effectively when it counted, holding the Golden Eagles to two hits and one unearned run.
The Texas defense also emerged as a factor.
While the UT infield turned a couple of double plays, it also broke down once with a throwing error by Clemens accounting for Tennessee Tech’s first run of the game in the second inning.
UT’s miscue allowed the Golden Eagles to cut the lead to 2-1.
Clemens made up for it in the Longhorns’ next at bat with a long solo homer off Tennessee Tech starter and staff ace Travis Moths, a 13-game winner who took the loss.
Texas scored again in the seventh off Moths to make it 4-1. David Garza answered for Tennessee Tech in the bottom half by greeting Henley with a first-pitch solo homer.
But that was it for the Golden Eagles, who managed only three hits on the afternoon.
Clemens, a third-round draft choice by the Detroit Tigers, continued his torrid offensive pace against Tennessee Tech.
In five NCAA tournament games, the son of former major league pitching star Roger Clemens is batting .474 with three doubles and four home runs.
He has also produced 10 RBI.
Thanks to Clemens and friends, the Longhorns moved to within one victory of their first trip to Omaha under second-year UT coach David Pierce.
The Longhorns are looking for their 36th trip overall.
Kody Clemens, in comments posted on the Texas website, on whether he was surprised that the Golden Eagles pitched to him:
“Not really, I was just going up there with the same approach as always. I didn’t know what they were going to try and do, but I knew that pitcher’s sequences. I just got a good pitch and got a good swing on it.”
Coach David Pierce, on electing to pitch Henley in Game 2:
“Well, this is the thing, there’s no tomorrow if we don’t win today. It makes no sense to me to have our next best guy sitting in the bullpen and then we’d never get to him, for the simple fact that we’re waiting on playing him tomorrow. We had an opportunity to win and we went for it. Plus, he gives Parker Joe (Robinson) and Josh (Sawyer) some rest. I knew he was fresh, I knew his stuff would play, and it was the right decision for us.”
Tennessee Tech 53-11
Move over Roger, a new Clemens might be coming for that nickname.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 10, 2018