Tyler Campbell may have ended the Texas Longhorns' 2014 campaign with a slow roller that brought in the winning run for Vanderbilt, but Saturday’s College World Series loss may not be the final one in Omaha, Neb., for the majority of the group.
Despite the 4-3 loss in 10 innings, Texas should return an experienced bunch looking for a return trip to Omaha.
Though Texas has seven seniors on its roster, only three got into the starting lineup regularly, center fielder Mark Payton, designated hitter Madison Carter and pitcher Nathan Thornhill.
Carter led the team with a .322 ERA while Payton hit .315 and had an on-base percentage of .456 and a fielding percentage of .994. Thornhill was one of the aces of the pitching staff, finishing with a 9-3 record, 1.15 ERA and a team-high 68 strikeouts.
Though college teams have to deal with players leaving early, perhaps the biggest question facing the Longhorns lies with head coach Augie Garrido.
Garrido’s current contract goes through next season, and during the pregame news conference, Garrido said he wanted to talk to athletic director Steve Patterson about an extension.
The most likely candidate to leave school early is Dillon Peters, who was 7-3 with a 2.13 ERA and was drafted
by the Miami Marlins in the 10th round. He missed the postseason with an elbow injury that could cost him some money.
The Marlins have a signing bonus allotment of $141,800.
Other juniors selected for the draft include right-handed pitchers Parker French and Lukas Schiraldi.
The UT infield will be the team’s defensive strength next year.
Kacy Clemens established himself as a good defensive first baseman and made up for the lack of production at the plate. Clemens, the son of UT legend and former major league star Roger, could fill in on the mound next season.
Brooks Marlow and C.J Hinojosa made a great middle infielder duo. Marlow finished the season with a .991 fielding percentage and turned 56 of UT’s 70 double plays this season.
Catcher Tres Barrera established himself as the no-doubt starter after a tough start to the season.
Though Payton graduates, Ben Johnson and Collin Shaw should hold the corner outfield down and get some extra bases.
Johnson led the team with 21 stolen bases while Shaw was third with 13.