She forced the 9th seed Texas Longhorns into a third game at the Greenville Super Regional by stepping up a superb comeback against the 8th seed East Carolina Pirates at Clark-Leclerc Stadium on Saturday, winning home and away style when right-hander Dylan Campbell’s shot was fired. Quick ball 1-2 at a right angle with loaded bases and two ends.
Texas fell 6-2 after the fifth inning of five rounds by East Carolina and fell 7-2 after the top half of the seventh inning. With only nine teams left, the dormant bats finally woke up for the Longhorns as quarterback Douglas Hoodoo third scored a home double. In eighth, the Texans took the lead after three home runs by third baseman Skylar Messinger and a single shot from Campbell.
For the second game in a row, the Longhorns took the lead in the first half. Putting quarterback Eric Kennedy to the left with one exit, he stole second after first baseman Evan Melendez went out, then scored one by second baseman Murphy Steele. Another stolen base put Steele in the scoring center, which he capitalized on in a throwing foul by East Carolina’s third baseman.
Texas left-handed Lucas Gordon worked around a solo foul, throwing foul, and walked in the first inning and didn’t allow a run until a solo home run by East Carolina quarterback Bryson Worrell in the fourth inning. Gordon’s order faltered a bit after a home run, going on two hits, but was able to get a hit at the end of the frame.
After two bad-hit calls resulted in a stranded feud in the fourth inning for the Horns, Gordon ran into trouble again in the fifth, allowing two runs. The Buccaneers then carried the rules when Messinger made only his fourth foul this season. Worrell came again for East Carolina, scoring twice at the left goal line and chasing Gordon out of the game for right-handed Marcos Olivares.
In third-field right-hander Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, the East Carolina star broke the open game by three runs at home against Olivares, who only allowed one run all season to enter the game.
Olivares also walked the inning, but managed to avoid any further damage.
In the two rounds after the Buccaneers took the lead, the Longhorns couldn’t get anything to happen at the board as all six hitters retired in order.
East Carolina was still dangerous, however, as left-hander Luke Harrison conceded in the seventh with a straight 0-2 to put the sprinters first and third before getting a foul and leaving while right-handed Tristan Stevens entered the bout. On a wild court, Jenkins-Quart was judged to be safe at home for review after being called up, and the sprinter initially advanced to second. After a walk was allowed, Stevens was pulled over and right-hand man Andre Duplantere received the call from the labor office. Duplantier kept the score 7-2 by getting a double play on his first court.
The Horns managed to stage a two-way rally on the seventh. Shortstop Trey Faltine got his first hit from the Regional Super with a double-hit from the wall in the right field before Hodo was able to clear the wall at his bat in a home run twice.
Kennedy continued to advance with a single, but Melendez couldn’t keep it as right-handed Trey Lesavage got his hands on it, making a brief pause.
But the overall mountain on the board moved into the eighth inning. He set Steele on the first court he saw and hitter Austin Todd hit a ball from the bowler that flowed into the right field, allowing Steele to advance to third. In Fastball 2-2, Messinger hit his second home run of the match, a three-stroke shot to tie it.
The race at home prompted a call to center assist Carter Spivey, star of East Carolina’s Carter Spivey, who allowed three wins in 1.2 runs on Friday. The Texans continued to see Spivey as well as right-hander Dylan Campbell hit home on the opposite court to give the Longhorns the lead once again.
Hodo picked the third baseman’s gauntlet to extend the inning, chasing Spivey out of the game as Zach Agnos moved from a short point to the hill, but Agnos was able to retire on the side when Kennedy hit a mid-right in an East Carolina turn.
Seeking a rescue, Dupantier stayed in the game, getting a jump into center field to lead the inning and hitting the next hit, but then allowed a shot at home by second baseman Jacob Starling on a 2-1 fluted fastball. The knockout allowed the Texans a chance to win, and the Longhorns took the opportunity.
Melendez singled out midfield to lead, then moved up to second in a sacrifice by Mitchell Daly, a defensive substitute for Steele in the ninth inning. Todd pulled a deliberate walk on the 3-0 count to put the runners in first and second, but Messinger couldn’t get back into the catcher in a foul area.
Now Sunday’s game will determine the team that advances to the College World Series to face the winner at the Knoxville Super Regional with 1st court set at 3 p.m. Central on ESPN2.
Breaking T releases six co-licensed NIL x Texas jerseys for the baseball and softball teams.