AUSTIN (KXAN) — Longhorns redshirt sophomore Eric Kennedy was the hero for Texas in its super regional opener against South Florida on Saturday.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and a runner on first, Kennedy ripped a double off the wall in dead center field that scored Silas Ardoin from first to walk off the Bulls and win game one 4-3, putting Texas one win away from a return to the College World Series.
The heroics were needed after Texas blew a 3-0 lead in the top of the ninth.
Daniel Cantu started the rally for USF with a solo homer, and then Drew Brutcher capped it off with a two-run blast with two outs to tie the game and send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
Before that, though, Texas was cruising after a strong start and a dominant performance from pitcher Ty Madden. Madden went 6 and two-thirds innings of shutout ball in what figures to be his last start at UFCU Disch-Falk Field
Madden, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, overwhelmed the Bulls on the mound Saturday night, striking out nine batters. He also had no walks and allowed only three hits.
At the plate, Texas did most of its damage early, which was enough to keep South Florida at bay for most of the game, thanks to its stealth pitching.
In the first inning, Mike Antico scored after a USF throwing error by third baseman Carmine Lane.
Antico added the next run in the second inning, after hitting a double to left center that scored Eric Kennedy to make it 2-0 Texas.
Kennedy provided the insurance run in the seventh, hitting a sac fly deep enough to score Trey Faltine to put the Longhorns up 3-0.
Game two is Sunday night at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Longhorns will advance to Omaha for the College World Series with a win. If USF wins, the two teams will play a winner-take-all, game three Monday afternoon in Austin.