AUSTIN (KXAN) — Longhorns junior pitcher Tristan Stevens will get the start in Friday’s regional opener against Southern University, Texas head coach David Pierce announced Thursday.
While it might seem like Pierce is saving No. 1 starter Ty Madden, who has opened every weekend Big 12 series, there is more that went into the decision to start Stevens.
“He has the ability to bounce back better than our starters,” said Pierce. “I feel like he’s our best strike out thrower and when you are playing a team — like Southern — that’s going to depend on their running game. You have to be really good on making them earn everything they get. He can minimize pitches and innings, and it allows him to possibly get deep in games without utilizing a bunch of pitches.”
Madden will be available for Saturday’s game against either No. 3 Fairfield or No. 2 Arizona State.
While Madden has been the Longhorns’ most dynamic pitcher, earning Collegiate Baseball second team All-American honors, Stevens has been their most consistent. Stevens leads the team with nine wins and has pitched a team high 90.1 innings, and to Pierce’s point, has allowed just 17 walks.
The double-elimination format gives a huge advantage to the team that wins the first two games to avoid the loser’s bracket.
How to watch Day 1 of Austin regional
Friday, June 4
No. 4 Southern University vs. No. 1 Texas — 1 p.m. | TV: Longhorn Network
No. 3 Fairfield vs. No. 2 Arizona State — 6 p.m. | TV: ESPN3