College World Series
Wednesday, May 22
Longhorns take control of Bracket One
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Texas' offense is at its best at the right time of year. The Longhorns got four hits apiece from Seth Johnston and Dooley Prince and a three-run double from David Maroul in the first inning to start their 9-3 victory over Georgia in the College World Series on Sunday night.
The top-seeded Longhorns earned the inside track to Bracket One's berth in the best-of-three championship series. They go the finals next weekend if they beat Tuesday's Georgia-Arizona winner on Wednesday. Texas (57-13), which beat Arkansas 13-2 in the CWS' first round, has outscored its opponents by a combined 71-21 in seven NCAA Tournament games. The Longhorns are batting .361 in the tournament. "Before, we would have just one or two guys come up big for us," Johnston said. "Now there are four or five guys through the lineup who are stepping up." Prince is leading the Longhorns with a .733 average in his last six games. "I'm just getting good breaks out there and balls are falling for me," Prince said. The Longhorns had its first three batters reach base against Georgia starter Sean Ruthven, who required 55 pitches in the opening inning. Johnston and Carson Kainer drove in runs before Maroul drilled his bases-loaded double into the left-field corner for a 5-0 lead. Ruthven (7-2) gave up an RBI double to Curtis Thigpen in the fourth and left in favor of Mitchell Boggs to start the fifth after throwing 106 pitches. "I just couldn't get the ball down," Ruthven said. "They did a good job of staying on me." Drew Stubbs, who has hit safely in 11 straight games, and Johnston had RBI doubles in the sixth to stretch the Longhorns' lead to 8-3. "That five-run first inning gave us momentum," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "There were a lot of good at-bats, but none better than Maroul's two-strike battle before his double. And then when they made their run at us, we countered it." Sam LeCure, making his school-record 22nd straight start this season, allowed three hits and one run in four innings. J. Brent Cox (6-1) got the win in relief after giving up two runs on four hits in three innings. Huston Street pitched one-hit relief over the last two innings. Street, the Big 12's all-time saves leader, has worked a total of just 4 1/3 innings since May 28. "Street needed to get out there tonight. He couldn't wait any longer to get a feel for the mound," Garrido said. Georgia (44-22) scored once in the first on Josh Morris' sacrifice fly and twice in the fifth on a Marshall Szabo single and a Josh Morris groundout. "I've got to tip my hat to Texas," Georgia coach David Perno said. "That first inning is when one of your better pitchers can be his most vulnerable. Sean couldn't get settled in. There's not much chance against the No. 1 team in the country, spotting them five (runs) out of the gate."
|Huston Street closed the door on the Bulldogs.|