Texas to face offensive juggernaut in Austin Super Regional

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Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

All the cards have fallen perfectly in place for the Texas Longhorns thus far in the 2018 postseason.

In doing so, however, they may have brought the most talented offensive team in college baseball to Austin — Tennessee Tech University.

“We’re getting ready to play a really good Tennessee Tech team that did something that hasn’t been done that often and took two straight from Ole Miss at their place,” head coach David Pierce said. “So this is a very quality team we’re getting ready to play. They can pitch, they can really hit and they play solid defense. We’re looking forward to the competitiveness of it, and we’re looking forward to the competition.”

The Golden Eagles come into Disch-Falk Field with a 52–10 overall record and two unlikely come-from-behind victories over No. 4 Ole Miss. To go along with their impressive record, Tennessee Tech leads the nation in multiple offensive categories.

“I think they’re a very quality lineup,” Pierce said. “I don’t know if I can say I’ve seen a better quality lineup this year. I think when you look at their one through nine, they’re pretty powerful. There are no real holes, so we just have to attack the way we attack and be cautious of where their strengths are.”

Pierce, however, said his team will take an old-school approach that has been proven time and time again to beat good hitting.

“You know the old saying is ‘you beat good hitting with great pitching,’” Pierce said. “I think, for us, it’s about being consistent and pitching it one pitch at a time. A good hitter gets a base hit or hits a ball in the gap, you continue to repeat good pitches. We talk a lot about 'a good pitch is a good pitch, is a good pitch.' The goal is to repeat our good pitches, and that’s what we can do.”

Texas’s game one starter will be junior Nolan Kingham, who has been the team’s No. 1 starter all year. With the chance to go up 1–0, there’s no doubt UFCU Disch-Falk Field will be buzzing. Kingham, who had one of his best outings of the year last weekend against Texas A&M with the flu, is now healthy and looking to reclaim the confidence he has been pitching with as of late.

“Usually, I’m a fast-paced guy,” Kingham said. “I think (last Saturday against A&M), I just tried to slow it down because I didn’t want to be winded or anything. I think that was just a little different. I just kind of go how I feel, and we’ll see how I feel (this Saturday).”

While hosting a super regional is a fantastic accomplishment in itself, junior second baseman Kody Clemens wants everyone to know this team is not going be satisfied with just hosting.

“We are not done,” Clemens said. “So everyone needs to know that, obviously, we have gotten to this point, but we need to keep the season going.”

Texas will play game one of the Austin Super Regional against Tennessee Tech on Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2. In this best-of-three series, the winner will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for a chance to compete for the national championship.