OMAHA, Neb. (KXAN) — Texas baseball struck out 21 times against Mississippi State’s dominant pitching duo of Will Bednar and Landon Sims during Sunday’s College World Series opener for both teams.
The dubious number of Texas whiffs allowed the Bulldogs to set a College World Series record for team K’s in a single game, placing Texas one loss away from elimination. The two teams combined for 32 strikeouts, which is a new record for combined K’s at the College World Series.
The Longhorns will face No. 3 Tennessee in an elimination game Tuesday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU after the 2-1 loss to Mississippi State.
Texas could only scratch across one hit through the first eight innings before Mike Antico and the rest of the Longhorns hitters created some tense moments for the Mississippi State dugout in the bottom of the ninth. Antico hit a solo home run off Sims to slice Texas’ deficit in half at 2-1 to start the inning.
Back-to-back singles by Ivan Melendez and Cam Williams put runners at the corners for the Longhorns with two outs. However, Douglas Hodo III couldn’t deliver the hit to create an improbable comeback and tie the game at 2.
Hodo III was up in the count 2-0 on Sims before grounding out to second base to end the game.
This is Texas’ fourth straight CWS opening game loss while Mississippi State won its fifth straight opener in Omaha.
Bednar was near perfect just swarming the Texas hitters with pitches in the zone that they couldn’t touch. Bednar struck out 15 in six innings, coming up two strikeouts short of matching the College World Series record for strikeouts in a single game.
Bednar left in the seventh inning after a walk to Zach Zubia. Sims entered and threw six more strikeouts over the final three innings.
Texas starting pitcher Ty Madden put together a strong, seven inning performance, striking out 10 while allowing just two runs. Pete Hansen pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Those two fourth inning Mississippi State runs held up against the mostly lifeless Longhorns bats. The Longhorns only put four balls in play before their ninth inning rally came up short.
Texas head coach David Pierce will have some questions to answer after another difficult day in Omaha for his Longhorns. Texas went 0-2 at the CWS during its first appearance under Pierce in 2018.
Texas struck out 18 times against Mississippi State to open the 2021 season at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Author: Andrew Schnitker
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin