Shugart, Longhorns punch CWS ticket

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, June 12, 2018

AUSTIN — The most dangerous offensive team in the country was rendered harmless on Sunday and Monday and former Bridge City standout Chase Shugart was a major part of it as the University of Texas Longhorns are heading to the College World Series for the 37th time.

Tennessee Tech managed just three hits, a season-low, against Texas pitchers Shugart and Blair Henley as the Longhorns won 4-2 to even their NCAA Tournament best-of-three super regional series at one victory apiece.

Then on Monday, Texas pitching shut down the Golden Eagles well again as the Longhorns captured the Super Regional with a 5-2 victory in front of a packed house at Disch-Falk Field.

The Longhorns will open the College World Series Sunday at 1 p.m. against Arkansas.

The other games will pit Oregon State vs. North Carolina at 2 p.m. Saturday and Washington vs. Mississippi State at 7 p.m. Also on Sunday, the red-hot Texas Tech Red Raiders will tangle with top-seed Florida at 6 p.m.

In Shugart’s win on the hill Sunday All-American Kody Clemens drove in two runs, one with his 23rd home run of the season for Texas (42-21).

Tech (53-12) led the nation in several categories, including runs (more than 10 a game) and home runs.

The Golden Eagles managed two hits and one unearned run in six innings against Shugart (6-3). The three total hits in the game were Tech’s fewest since Feb. 27, 2015, when they had one hit against Northern Illinois.

“The guy was dynamite,” Tech coach Matt Bragga said. “Their pitchers were phenomenal. But I think we were a little bit tight.”

Shugart threw 99 pitches, striking out five against five walks.

“Going into today, coach (David Pierce) just said empty the tank,” Shugart said. “‘If we have to go to Blair in the fifth we’ll go to Blair in the fifth.’ Their hitters did a really good job of fighting off 0-2 pitches and getting deep into the count. It was really driving me nuts, but they’re a good hitting team.”

Shugart walked two batters in the sixth, putting runners on first and second with one out. Chase Chambers and Trevor Putzig hit benign fly balls to end the inning.