GREENVILLE, NC — Texas and East Carolina will play for a spot in the College World Series on Sunday.
After never meeting on a baseball field before this weekend, Texas and East Carolina split the first two games in this super regional. The Pirates (46-20) recorded a 13-7 victory at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday. Texas (46-20) rallied to a 9-8 conquest one day later.
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Texas moves within three outs of its 38th trip to the College World Series
After eight innings at Clark-LeClair Stadium, Texas is holding onto a 10-1 lead over East Carolina. While issuing two walks and allowing no hits, relief pitcher Travis Sthele has guided UT through the last two innings.
Texas goes to its bullpen after receiving six solid innings from Tristan Stevens
When Texas headed back onto the field after the seventh-inning stretch, Tristan Stevens wandered out to the bullpen area to embrace his fellow pitchers. The sixth-year senior allowed five hits, three walks and one run over a six-inning start. Five of his 101 pitches struck out a beater.
Last year, Stevens was the pitcher of record in UT’s super regional-clinching win over South Florida. Over 5 2/3 innings in that 12-4 win, Stevens yielded eight hits and four runs.
Travis Sthele (3-1, 6.40 ERA) is the next pitcher up for Texas.
With Texas leading 10-1, Tristan Stevens gets through the fifth inning
After East Carolina got two runners aboard to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, Texas began to get reliever Jared Southard loose in his bullpen. David Pierce, though, didn’t need to make a pitching change. Tristan Stevens got a double play that was upheld by a video review and a groundout to end the inning.
So far, Stevens has thrown 84 pitches. He has allowed four hits and issued two walks.
Trey Faltine stacks onto the Texas lead with his 15th home run
In the fifth inning, Texas shortstop Trey Faltine became the first Longhorn to figure out ECU reliever Garrett Saylor. After UT was held without a hit over Saylor’s first two innings of work, Faltine led off the frame with a solo homer.
That was Faltine’s 15th home run this year. Those 15 homers would have led the Texas offense in 10 of the previous 11 seasons. Instead, they currently rank third on the UT roster behind Ivan Melendez (32 homers) and Murphy Stehly (19 homers).
Garrett Saylor steps up for East Carolina as Tristan Stevens completes his fourth inning of work
The fifth Pirate to pitch tonight, East Carolina’s Garrett Saylor has had some success against Texas. Saylor has kept Texas scoreless over his two innings. Saylor hit two Longhorns but has not allowed a hit.
Saylor threw 58 pitches in Saturday’s game.
Meanwhile, Tristan Stevens has gotten Texas through the first four innings. Stevens has allowed three hits and a run. Texas still leads 9-1.
Texas builds upon its early lead as East Carolina twice change pitchers
For the second straight inning, Texas forced East Carolina to make a call to its bullpen. The Pirates actually made two pitching changes as CJ Mayhue replaced Trey Yesavage and Josh Grosz then replaced Mayhue.
Facing those three pitches, Texas collected five hits. Eric Kennedy, Murphy Stehly, Austin Todd and Skyler Messinger all drove in runs as the Longhorns expanded their lead to 9-1.
East Carolina gets on the scoreboard after super regional resumes
Quickly brushing off a weather delay that lasted nearly five hours, East Carolina got back to work. The Pirates kept relief pitcher Trey Yesavage, who was called out of the bullpen just before the game was paused, on the mound and he retired two Longhorns to end the first inning’s top half.
In the inning’s bottom half, East Carolina got its offense going with two straight singles. Leadoff hitter Zach Agnos eventually scored the Pirates’ first run on a sacrifice fly.
After a delay of nearly five hours, Texas and East Carolina set to play ball
The NCAA has announced that Texas and East Carolina will resume the third game of their super regional at 10:15 pm ET. A weather delay was called for around 5:25.
When play resumes, Texas will have a 4-0 lead with one out in the top of the first inning. Silas Ardoin will beat with a runner on first base.
Texas strikes first but weather strikes again in the first inning
Texas wasted no time in making a statement in Greenville. To lead off the first inning, Douglas Hodo III reached base on an infield single and Eric Kennedy walked. That set up Ivan Melendez, who worked a 2-0 count against ECU pitcher Danny Beal.
On the first pitch following a mound meeting between Beal and catcher Ben Netwon, Melendez lined a baseball over the fence in left field. The home run was the 32nd of Melendez’s season. In the Division I record books, those 32 homers are tied for the 13th-most of all time. That number also established a new single-season standard for the BBCOR bat era.
After UT cleanup hitter Murphy Stehly was hit by a pitch, ECU made a pitching change. Texas then took a 4-0 lead when Skyler Messinger drove in Stehly with a single off of Trey Yesavage.
With one out in the first inning’s top half, the action at Clark-LeClair Stadium was halted when the second weather delay of the afternoon went into effect. A restart time has not been announced.
Texas to start veteran pitcher Tristan Stevens against ECU’s Danny Beal
Even though both teams are expected to empty their bullpens today, Tristan Stevens (6-6, 5.16 ERA) and Danny Beal (5-1, 4.03 ERA) have been tabbed as the starting pitchers for Texas and ECU. Stevens has already thrown 23 pitches over two short appearances this weekend. Beal recorded two quick outs and issued a walk on Saturday.
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Stevens has pitched in 24 games this season, but the sixth-year senior last started on April 30. He was the starting pitcher last year when Texas booked its 37th trip to the College World Series and closed out its super regional against South Florida.
This will be the second start of Beal’s season.
Texas and East Carolina have history with do-or-die games in the super regionals
This marks the seventh time that UT has reached the third game of a super regional. So far, Texas is 5-1 in those contests. East Carolina was beaten in its only previous appearance in a super regional’s winner-takes-all contest.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas vs. East Carolina in College World Series game three live updates