(1) Longhorns 10, (5) Sun Devils 6
June 16, 2009
Rupp, Longhorns overcome six-run deficit, beat Sun Devils
Updated: June 17, 2009, 1:37 AM ET
OMAHA, Neb. -- Texas' comeback ability was again on full display on Tuesday night.
Cameron Rupp hit two homers and had four RBIs as the top-seeded Longhorns overcame an early six-run deficit for a 10-6 win over Arizona State in the College World Series.
"For the team to find a way to win," Texas coach Augie Garrido said, "was nothing short of a miracle. It was quite a testimony to the power of their will to win and belief in each other and belief in themselves. It was rough and it was ugly, but it got done."
Rupp started Texas' comeback with a three-run homer off Arizona State's Mike Leake in the fourth inning, and he hit Mitchell Lambson's first pitch of the seventh inning over the right-field wall to give the Longhorns a 7-6 lead.
Texas (48-14-1) is in the Bracket 2 final after winning its first two games here. The Longhorns need one more win to reach next week's best-of-three championship round.
Arizona State (50-13) and North Carolina meet Thursday, with the winner playing Texas on Friday.
In the regionals, the Longhorns came back from four runs down in the ninth inning to beat Army, then they won the longest game in NCAA history by beating Boston College in 25 innings. Texas beat TCU in the super regionals, and then beat Southern Mississippi in its CWS opener Sunday.
Down 6-0 after the third inning Tuesday, Garrido gathered his players and told them they weren't out of it -- even though they were going against the best pitcher in the country who isn't No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State.
Merrill: Texas PreparedTexas didn't panic after falling behind 6-0 to Arizona State with the Sun Devils' ace on the mound. After surviving a 25-inning marathon in a regional and CWS game that was decided by a walk-off walk, the Longhorns are prepared for just about anything, Elizabeth Merrill writes. Story
"We've scored 11 runs in an inning, eight runs in an inning. Six? We can do it," Rupp said. "We went out and left everything that happened the first three innings behind us and went out and finished the game."
An anticipated pitchers' duel between the nation's top two staffs never materialized. Arizona State came in with a 2.76 ERA, and Texas was at 2.86.
Texas finished with 15 hits in a game that lasted 4 hours, 4 minutes. The Longhorns might not have been in position to win if it weren't for freshman Taylor Jungmann, whose 5 2/3 innings of two-hit, shutout relief offset a rough start by All-Big 12 starter Chance Ruffin and two errors by a Texas defense ranked first in the nation.
Jungmann (10-3) earned his second win in relief at the CWS, allowing a single to Kole Calhoun in the sixth and Johnny Ruettiger's infield hit in the ninth. Jungmann struck out six and walked one.
"After Coach talked to us, guys started rallying around," Jungmann said. "Cameron's [first] home run was a big turning point. When we tied it, we knew we had it."
Leake, the No. 8 overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds and the Pac-10 pitcher of the year, had come in with a 1.36 ERA, which ranked second only to Strasburg.
The six runs were the most given up this season by Leake, whose 3 1/3-inning outing marked the shortest of his 17 starts. He had gone at least seven innings in his previous 15 starts and hadn't gone fewer than six until Tuesday. He gave up eight hits and walked two.
Leake seemed dazed by what happened.
"I've got so much going through my mind right now," he said. "I'll think about it and put it behind me. Right now, I couldn't tell you what it was."
Rupp put Texas in front against Mitchell Lambson (9-4), then Kevin Keys' RBI double and Brandon Loy's two-run single off Seth Blair in the eighth provided insurance for the Longhorns, who are 40-0-1 when leading after seven innings.
Rupp became the first player to hit two home runs in a CWS game since Fresno State's Steve Detwiler did it in last year's finals against Georgia.
Calhoun said the Sun Devils might have become too relaxed after scoring three in the second inning and three in the third.
"In our minds we were going to be cruising because we have Mike Leake on the mound with a six-run lead," Calhoun said. "We've jumped on his back a lot."
Perhaps too much, ASU coach Pat Murphy said.
"Six runs is enough usually," he said. "Maybe we learned something. You can't expect the other team to go to sleep."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press