It was every kids’ dream, at least according to Josh Prince.
The freshman designated hitter came up to the plate with a chance to win the game for Texas and did just that. With the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the eighth, Prince’s RBI single with two outs gave the Longhorns the lead for good.
“It’s a situation everybody dreams of,” said Prince. “Guy on second base, two outs against A&M to clinch the conference championship. I went up there and just pretended it was another game. I pretended like I was in the backyard…”
Prince’s diatribe was immediately halted, however, as he was met with a handful of shaving cream to the face from Texas closer Randy Boone. The Texas baseball team was definitely fired up after the win and Boone, after having a good laugh with his compatriot, said he’d like to stay on a roll.
“Hey, I’ll take it in the face if we keep winning like that,” said Boone.
With the win, the Longhorns secured outright the Big 12 Conference Title with a regular season mark of 20-6 in league play and 41-14 overall. Texas A&M fell to 13-12 in the big 12 and 41-14 as well overall. The 2007 season marks Texas' 74th conference championship.
The second-place Missouri Tigers won on Saturday as well, beating Oklahoma State, but the Longhorns' win over the Aggies means the title is safely in Austin.
Starter Adrian Alaniz is the Longhorns' staff ace, but reliever Joseph Krebs was, along with Prince, the hero of the game, coming on in the fourth inning and mowing down Aggie batters one after another. Texas A&M had put up runs in consecutive innings on Alaniz, but the Burnt Orange bats struck back in the bottom half of the fourth and fifth, the tying run coming on an RBI single from Chance Wheeless, scoring Jordan Danks.
The game, largely a pitchers' duel, remained at 2-2 all the way to the eighth inning where errors once again plagued the Aggies. Texas A&M has the worst fielding average in the Big 12 and it showed. In the bottom of the eighth, Texas A&M looked to have the Longhorns put away, but couldn't complete the second half of a double play, with first baseman Blake Stouffer dropping the throw.
We all know what happened next. Prince came up to the plate and drove home the winning run. The Aggies committed two errors on the night.
In the top of the ninth, Boone came on to pitch, but not until Krebs took his place on the mound so he could leave to a standing ovation from the packed house at the Disch. The final line on Krebs: Four and a third innings pitched, two hits, no runs allowed, no walks and four strikeouts. As for Boone, he pitched a picture-perfect ninth, striking out the side to close out the game.
The Sunday game of the series, the Longhorns' final regular season game of the year, starts at 2 p.m. Texas will send Austin Wood to the mound. Disch-Falk field will not be hosting a regional this year, meaning Sunday’s game is the Longhorns’ last game of the year at their home stadium.