Staying Alive: Win Over Miami Sets Up Rice Rematch

LeCure comes up big for Horns (AP/Nati Harnik)

Ready for a summer rerun? Only if it is No. 4 Texas’ shot at redemption against top-ranked Rice that it set up with a 5-1 win against Miami Tuesday at the College World Series in Omaha.

The Hurricanes were primed for payback after Texas thumped them, 13-2, Saturday. But freshman Sam LeCure was solid in 6-2/3 innings of work in picking up his fifth win of the season against no losses. LeCure scattered seven hits on 107 pitches that yielded but one Miami run. He walked one and fanned two before sophomore Huston Street came on in the bottom of the seventh to record his 14th save of the season. The Boy Wonder is now the first pitcher to record five saves at the CWS.

The win ended Miami’s season while Texas (50-19) will face Rice, 6 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday, just 48 hours after the flockers handed the Horns their worst CWS loss in 40 years with Monday’s 12-2 setback. While UT is now one of just four teams still standing, the Horns would have to win twice against Rice to reach the best-of-three championship series that starts Saturday.

For now, all three Texas games this CWS have displayed the inestimable importance of pitching to a championship run. In Monday’s debacle, Texas used a CWS record seven pitchers in that 12-2 loss. In two games against the Hurricanes, Texas hurlers generally remained ahead of the count while Miami’s young pitching staff suffered stage fright on college baseball’s biggest stage against college baseball’s leading act.

Although Texas could boast of only six hits, the bottom line was that four Miami pitchers surrendered eight walks (albeit against a fluctuating strike zone) while LeCure showed remarkable poise and control for a freshman. The only run LeCure surrendered came on Brian Barton's RBI double in the sixth.

By then, Texas had tallied three runs against starter Brandon Camardese (9-2) in the third inning. Michael Hollimon, playing DH instead of recent slumping starter J.D. Reininger, went yard for the third time this season to jump start the Texas offense while OF Dustin Majewski doubled in two more runs.

Texas loaded the bases in both the fifth and six innings. It returned empty-handed to the dugout in the fifth but scored the following frame on the strength of Tim Moss' walk and Omar Quintanilla's sacrifice fly.

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