Add another Clemens to the iconic list of Texas baseball greats.
Kody Clemens ripped a home run — his third of the Austin Super Regional — to boost the Longhorns to a 5-2 victory over Tennessee Tech in the deciding Game 3 on Monday in Austin.
Clemens has blasted five home runs during the NCAA Tournament. His huge effort puts him in the same company as his celebrated father, Roger Clemens, a two-time All-American who helped lead the Longhorns to the 1983 national championship. The elder Clemens was the first Longhorns baseball player to have his jersey number retired.
But Monday was a day for his son and his teammates. Their victory boosts the Longhorns (42-21) into the College World Series for a record 36th time. It will be Texas’ first trip to Omaha since 2014, and the Longhorns are searching for their first title since 2005.
Tennessee Tech (53-12) leads the nation in victories. The Golden Eagles challenged in the ninth by loading the bases with two out. But Texas reliever Nolan Kingham coaxed Brennon Kaleiwahea to ground out to short for the final out.
The Longhorns wasted little time jumping on losing pitcher Alex Hursey. They claimed a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by Ryan Reynolds with two outs in the second inning.
Winning pitcher Matteo Bocchi, making his first start since May 23, provided his longest career start. Bocchi went five innings and allowed 4 hits, walking one and striking out three.
Del Conte’s unconventional appeal worked. A sellout crowd of 7,370 — the largest of the season — packed the stadium.