Texas slugger Kody Clemens was determined to make Tennessee Tech pitcher Travis Moths eat his words.
The talkative Moths told the Longhorn Network announcers in a pre-tournament production meeting the Golden Eagles would sweep Texas at the Austin Super Regional.
Clemens’ power display in Game 2 on Sunday guaranteed Moths couldn’t live up to his boast.
The son of legendary former Texas pitcher Roger Clemens accounted for two of Texas’ early runs with a double and homer in a 4-2 victory over the Golden Eagles.
Kody Clemens’ big hitting day ensures Game 3
The Texas victory evened the best-of-three series at a game apiece. The deciding game will be played at 1 p.m. ET Monday. It will be available on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app.
Clemens’ first-inning double plated David Hamilton to start the Longhorns’ scoring against Moths. It’s started a blistering early hitting attack for the Longhorns on a day presenting a temperature of 94 degrees at first pitch.
And he blasted a deep homer to right field in the third inning to provide a 2-run cushion. For good measure, Clemens flashed a hook ’em hand gesture to the Tennessee Tech bench as he rounded third base en route to home plate.
Texas took advantage of Moths’ wildness to score its first two runs. Runs scoring in the first and second innings came after leadoff walks.
Chase Shugart provides pitching masterpiece in must-win situation
His big game supported the strong work of winning pitcher Chase Shugart. The junior right-hander allowed only 2 hits in a strong 6-inning start improve to 6-3.
Shugart pitched out of his biggest jam in the sixth inning. After walking leadoff hitter Alex Junior and Kevin Strohschein with one out, Shugart was at his grittiest. Chase Chambers flied out to left field and Trevor Putzig lined to right to end the threat.
He finished by allowing only an unearned run in his work on Sunday. He has permitted 1 earned run in his last 21 innings.
Reliever Blair Henley was greeted by a leadoff homer by David Garza to start the seventh inning. Henley settled down to strike out Nick Osborne and Collin Harris. He then retired John Ham on a fly out to end the inning.
Henley then pitched clean eighth and ninth innings to wrap up the victory.
The Big 12 regular-season champions will be gunning for a record 36th trip to the College World Series. Texas has won six previous national championships, most recently in 2005.
Tennessee Tech will take aim at its first College World Series appearance after its first Super Regional trip.