GREENVILLE, N.C. (KXAN) — When thunder roared from storms rolling through the area Sunday, so did the Texas Longhorn bats.
After a pair of weather delays that pushed Game 3 of the Greenville Super Regional against No. 8 East Carolina into the early hours of Monday, No. 9 Texas booked its 38th trip to the College World Series with an 11-1 win at Clark-LeClair Field.
The first weather delay pushed the start time back about an hour, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT, and the second one lasted around five hours as rain — heavy at times — soaked the natural grass field. There was a brief moment between the delays when the Texas offense piled up four runs to stake starting pitcher Tristan Stevens to a comfortable cushion.
The Longhorns scored four runs and East Carolina starting pitcher Danny Beal was pulled without recording an out. Three of the four runs came on a 3-run home run from Ivan Melendez, his 32nd of the season.
Skyler Messenger then drove in Murphy Stehly with a single to make it 4-0 to end Beal’s day far earlier than the Pirates expected. Trey Yesavage, who has appeared in both super regional games, took over on the mound and got an out before allowing the Messenger RBI single. Then, lightning in the area led to the second delay and rain came with it.
After that delay, it was all Longhorns. Trey Faltine and Silas Ardoin each hit home runs and Texas pumped out 11 hits the night after it had to rally from a 5-run deficit to beat the Pirates in Game 2 of the series.
Stevens was outstanding as the starter, a familiar role for him before being moved to the bullpen this season. He pitched six innings and allowed just one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks. He earned his seventh win of the year after winning 13 games last year as a starter.
Messenger had three hits for the Longhorns while Faltine and Douglas Hodo III each had two.
East Carolina used nine pitchers in the game with Garrett Saylor shouldering the bulk of the load with four innings on the mound. Beal was given the loss after allowing the four runs prior to the second delay. For the Pirates, Zach Agnos had two hits. He started the game at shortstop but also came into pitch in the seventh inning.
East Carolina won the first game of the series Friday 13-7, but Texas rallied from a 7-2 deficit to claim the second game 9-8 behind a Dylan Campbell walk-off hit.
Texas will play unseeded Notre Dame, who pulled off the unthinkable and beat No. 1 Tennessee to knock them out of the tournament.
Six teams including the Longhorns have qualified for the CWS, which begins June 17 at Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. No. 5 Texas A&M and Big 12 Conference Oklahoma are in the same bracket as the Longhorns and Irish. In the second bracket, Ole Miss and Arkansas are in. Both teams are unseeded. No. 3 Oregon State and Auburn will play a deciding game Monday in Corvallis, Ore., and No. 2 Stanford will try to fend off a pesky UConn team Monday in Palo Alto, Calif.
Below is a running recap of the game:
12:30 a.m. Monday
It’s over. Texas beats East Carolina 11-1, wins the super regional series 2-1 and advances to the College World Series for a record 38th time in program history. The Longhorns will face Notre Dame in their first game in Omaha.
12:15 a.m. Monday
Texas catcher Silas Ardoin hits his 12th homer of the year, this one to right field off the flagpole. It was off of Jake Kuchmaner, the ninth pitcher of the game for the Pirates. Texas 11, East Carolina 1 Top 9th.
12:12 a.m. Monday
The Texas Longhorns are one inning away from making the program’s 38th trip to the College World Series. After East Carolina goes down quietly in the bottom of the eighth, it’s still Texas 10, East Carolina 1.
12 a.m. Monday
The game broadcast moved from ESPNU to ESPN2. And now Ben Terwilliger is the eighth pitcher on the mound for the Pirates. It’s the top of the eighth inning, and it’s still Texas 10, East Carolina 1.
The game moves into the bottom of the seventh and Texas starting pitcher Tristan Stevens was fantastic. He pitched six strong innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Travis Sthele takes over on the mound for the Longhorns. Meanwhile, East Carolina has used seven pitchers so far. It’s still Texas 10, East Carolina 1.
Texas tacks on another run with a Trey Faltine solo home run in the top of the fifth inning. Texas 10, East Carolina 1 Top 5th
It’s Texas 9, East Carolina 1 after two innings. The Pirates will start the third inning with a new pitcher. Garrett Saylor is now on the mound in relief of Josh Grosz.
East Carolina goes to the bullpen again. Josh Grosz comes in and gives up a RBI single to Skyler Messenger. Murphy Stehly doubled in two runs and Austin Todd hit a sacrifice fly to score one to chase Mayhue. Texas 9, East Carolina 1 Top 2nd
East Carolina is going to the bullpen. CJ Mayhue, the winning pitcher for the Pirates in Game 1, is coming into the game in relief of Yesavage. Mayhue threw 91 pitches on Friday. Texas tacked on another run on an Eric Kennedy single to score Trey Faltine. Texas 5, East Carolina 1 Top 2nd
East Carolina gets one back in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Jackson Jenkins-Cowart, but that’s all. After a very long first inning, it’s Texas 4, East Carolina 1 End 1st
Yesavage welcomes baseball back to Clark-LeClair Field with two strikeouts and now, 6 hours and 20 minutes after the scheduled start, East Carolina will now get its first at-bat. Tristan Stevens is on the mound for the Longhorns. Texas 4, East Carolina 0
THE TARP IS COMING OFF … again. The tournament committee says the game will resume at 9:15 CT.
More rain is moving through Greenville. You can have a look at the radar (it starts above Austin but just drag it to Greenville, just east of Raleigh) to see. It appears there’s another cell behind the current one.
Roger is just as disappointed as everyone else is.
The tournament committee is still waiting as a couple of storm cells are approaching Greenville. Wallace said the tournament committee, “will do everything it can to play the game tonight.”
The Longhorns dugout is not enthused about it.
KXAN’s Roger Wallace, who is at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, said the tournament committee will “re-evaluate” at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Well folks, it appears the tournament committee is going to wait until more storm cells get through the area. This isn’t starting at 7:15 p.m. CT.
The game is scheduled to resume at 7:15 p.m. CT. The tarp is coming off the field.
Three hours after the scheduled start time, the game will be resumed with one out and one runner on in the top of the first inning. Silas Ardoin will be at the plate with Messenger on first base. There’s still no word on when the game might resume, but according to radar, thunderstorms have moved east of Greenville.