Citizens of the Lone Star State have always been a boastful bunch and not shy about it.
This week you can replace the cannons on the “Come and Take It” flag with a pair of baseball bats as Texas will be well represented at the College World Series in Omaha.
The Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs and Texas Tech Red Raiders showed that the Big 12 is one of the top baseball conferences in the country by making it to Omaha. Three of the final eight teams left are not only from the Big 12, but this very state.
The accomplishment is a far cry from 2013, when only Rice, Texas A&M and Texas-San Antonio were the only Texas teams to make the tournament, and the Owls were the only team to make it to the Super Regionals.
Rice was swept in the Super Regional round.
Texas opens CWS play against the California-Irvine at 2 p.m. TCU and Tech face each other for the fifth time this season Sunday at 2 p.m.
TCU vs. Tech
Expect a low scoresin the matchup as TCU brings a stable of quality arms while Tech has a hot pitching staff.
TCU ran roughshod through the conference during the Big 12 Tournament beating Baylor twice, West Virginia and Oklahoma State to win the conference title.
TCU was one of the eight top national seeds swept in the regionals and came back to win Game 3 of the super regionals against Pepperdine.
Though Game 3 of the Super Regionals had a high score, the Horned Frogs will bring their talented trio of Brandon Finnegan, Preston Morrison and Tyler Alexander.
Morrison has an ERA of 1.32, Finnegan’s is 2.12 and Alexander has the highest at 2.16. The three have a combined record of 28-10.
The Red Raiders are in the CWS for the first time in school history thanks to a great performance from their pitching staff. Tech swept College of Charleston in the super regionals, winning both games by a score of 1-0.
Tech allowed just 10 hits during both games.
Relief pitcher Jonny Drozd preserved both wins by not allowing a hit and striking out three batters in three innings.
Chris Sadberry got the win in Game 1 after allowing four hits and striking out eight in eight innings of work. Dylan Dusek was the Game 2 winner after allowing three hits and striking out two in eight innings.
Tech won two out of three in Fort Worth during conference play. TCU won the most recent meeting, a 4-0 nonconference game in Abilene in late April.
The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs also have No. 3 Virginia and No. 17 Mississippi in the upper portion of the tournament.
Keep Omaha orange
The Longhorns are making their 35th appearance in the CWS, the most of any other school in the nation.
Texas got some big wins in the postseason by playing its trademark small ball, making some key defensive plays and relying on its talented pitching staff.
The Longhorns swept No. 9 Houston 4-2 and 4-0 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field to rebound after the program missed the NCAA tournament the last two years.
The Texas pitching staff has a 1.15 ERA in 55 innings of postseason play and is holding opposing batters to a .210 batting average. The Longhorns have allowed only two extra-base hits all postseason.
UT made only one error during the Houston series, and though they allowed 18 hits, Houston only brought two home.
The CWS gives UT fans one last chance to root for senior outfielder Mark Payton.
The New York Yankees draftee has started all 62 games and is hitting .326 with 38 RBIs and has 20 extra-base hits.
Payton’s second homer of the season, a two-run shot, was the difference in UT’s Game 1 win over Houston.
He has a 101-game streak of reaching base that dates back to the 2013 season.
Texas opens with tournament Cinderella UC-Irvine, which looked impressive in a Super Regional sweep of Oklahoma State inStillwater, Okla.
The Longhorns could face No. 8 Louisville and No. 13 Vanderbilt in their portion of the bracket.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com