Texas and Stanford face off in the super regional for a trip to Omaha. The three-game series could hinge on the first game.
Longhorns ace Lucas Gordon takes the mound for a monumental Game 1 of the series. Frankly, it could swing the entire outcome of the series. For several reasons, Texas needs to win Gordon’s start.
The veteran pitcher has been steady for Texas all season, and he’s a huge reason the team is here. Gordon won Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors after posting a 2.45 ERA on the season. Over his three years at Texas, his career ERA stands at 2.80 runs per nine innings.
Gordon has a track record of performing in past NCAA Tournaments. The pitchers that follow him don’t have as much in the way of proven track records.
Lebarron Johnson Jr. put up a performance that Texas baseball fans will remember for awhile in the regionals against Miami. Other than that, there’s not a huge sample size to judge Johnson in tournament games. Undoubtedly, his next performance should be less dominant than his first outing this postseason.
The opposite might be true for Tanner Witt, who is due a strong performance after struggling in the Longhorns’ closeout win over Miami. Witt was given a quick hook after allowing three runs through two innings of play. Even so, there are questions about whether or not he’s mentally and physically prepared to win an elimination matchup this year.
In short, Texas probably needs to win Lucas Gordon’s Saturday start. If it does, we’re looking at a likely trip No. 39 to the College World Series. A loss would put the Longhorns on the brink of elimination on the road.
Saturday is the biggest game of the season for Texas. How the team performs could determine the result of the series.