On the Longhorns’ road to redemption, several series will prove key. We’ve outlined three big ones here.
Texas vs. Sacramento State (Feb. 15-17)
The Longhorns will open their season with a three-game series against Sacramento State, where Tommy Nicholson served as the hitting coach before returning to his alma mater. Nicholson, once a second baseman at Texas, replaces longtime assistant Tommy Harmon, and his first opponent as a member of the Longhorns coaching staff will be the team he spent the last two years coaching. Harmon was in charge of a Texas offense that produced a .263 batting average last season, the program’s worst mark since 1968.
Texas at Stanford (March 1-3)
For the second straight year, Texas will travel to Palo Alto for a weekend series. It’ll be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing three-game set last February. The Longhorns were outscored 28-5 and outhit 40-13 in the series, extending their losing streak to five games, their longest since 2001. Texas was 2-5 after being swept by Stanford, its worst start in 68 years. Stanford is ranked No. 4 in the Perfect Game preseason poll while Texas is No. 21.
Texas at TCU (May 16-18)
The last time the Longhorns and Horned Frogs squared off, TCU was denying Texas a trip to the 2010 College World Series. After the Longhorns punched their ticket to Omaha by taking two of three Super Regional games from the Horned Frogs in 2009, TCU triumphed in three games over Texas in the next year’s Super Regional. The Horned Frogs, No. 15 in the Perfect Game preseason poll, will face Texas in both team’s final regular season series.