No. 2 Texas defeated South Florida, 4-3, in dramatic fashion on Saturday night in Game 1 of the NCAA Austin Super Regional.
Texas controlled the majority of the game behind ace pitcher Ty Madden, who left the game after 6.2 innings pitched with nine strikeouts and four walks. Thanks to a sacrifice fly by Eric Kennedy to bring home Trey Faltine in the seventh inning, Texas had a respectable 3-0 lead over South Florida.
However, Texas blew the three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning. Reliever Tanner Witt gave up a lead off home run to Daniel Cantu and then a game-tying home run soon followed to South Florida’s Drew Brutcher.
It looked as if the game would be headed to extra innings, but Texas left fielder Eric Kennedy came through in the clutch. With two outs, catcher Silas Ardoin reached first base on error after a grounder to shortstop was mishandled.
Then the magic happened.
South Florida’s center fielder, Roberto Pena, appeared to be playing too shallow and Kennedy was able to blast a fastball over his head in center field, bring home Ardoin for the walk-off win. “I can’t describe it, these are the kind of moments you dream about as a little kid,” Kennedy said after the dramatic ending.
Kennedy finished the game 2-for-3 with the double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Right-hander Tristan Stevens will be on the mound on Sunday night as Texas attempts to close out the Austin Super Regional at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The Longhorns are now one win away from the College World Series.