TEXAS vs. #7 ARKANSAS | MISSOURI | #10 VANDERBILT
February 17-19, 2023 Where: Globe Life Field Time: Friday at 7:00pm; Saturday at 3pm; Sunday at 10:30 TV: FloBaseball.tv Radio: 104.9 FM The Horn/1260 AM Live Stats:
THE MEETINGS—Texas will play in the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field for the second time after playing in the inaugural event in 2021. The Longhorns face Arkansas on Opening Day and the two teams last met in 2021 at the Globe Life Field, with the Razorbacks winning 4 -0. Texas and Missouri last played in the 2020 Shriner’s Children’s College Classic, with the Tigers winning 9-8. Texas closes out the weekend against Vanderbilt and the teams will meet for the first time since the 2014 College World Series.
A LOOK AT THE LONGHORNS—The Longhorns will feature several new faces on the roster and coaching staff as they look to advance to the College World Series for a third straight season. On the coaching staff, Steve Rodriguez will work with hitters and infielders while Woody Williams will coach pitchers. The roster includes 10 freshmen and nine transfers who will compete for several key positions after the Longhorns lost seven everyday starters in the lineup and two seasoned starting pitchers. Outfielders Eric Kennedy and Dylan Campbell and infielder Mitchell Daly are the most experienced position players on the roster. Lucas Gordon returns to the pitching staff after being named second team All-Big 12 last season. The Longhorns could also see the return of Tanner Witt to the mound after missing much of last season.
TRANSFERS—The Longhorns have seven transfers from Division I programs that could make an immediate impact, including outfielder Porter Brown (TCU), infielder Tanner Carlson (Long Beach State), catcher Garrett Guillemette (USC), RHP Cody Howard (Baylor) RHP Charlie Hurley (USC), LHP David Shaw (Rice) and RHP Heston Tole (Arkansas). Additionally, RHP DJ Burke and LHP Chris Stuart transferred from San Jacinto College.
PRE-SEASONAL HONORS—Two Longhorn pitchers Lucas Gordon and Tanner Witt were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Last season Gordon went 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 85.2 innings after moving up to the weekend rotation. Witt made two starts on the mound in the 2022 season before undergoing season-ending surgery. He finished with a 2-0 record, a 1.64 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched.
“REMEMBER THE ARLINGTON”—The Longhorns started the 2021 season by going 0-3 in the College Baseball Showdown, going 20-4 over the weekend. The team used the tough weekend as something of a rallying cry for the remainder of the season as they went to the College World Series and finished 50-17.
ALL AMERICAN PRESEASONAL—Despite making just two starts last season before undergoing season-ending surgery, Tanner Witt was named a second team Preseason All-American by Baseball America. BA Preseason All-America teams are unique in that they are voted for by Major League Scouting Directors. Witt finished with a 2-0 record, a 1.64 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched as a sophomore in 202. In Witt’s first season at Forty Acres in 2021, he was named a Freshman All-American and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection. He led Texas with 28 relief appearances and posted a 5-0 record, five saves, a 3.16 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.
THE PROGRAM-The 2023 schedule features 36 home games at UFCU Disch-Falk Field following the season opener College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington. In Big 12 play, the Longhorns will host Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma and West Virginia and travel to Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU and Kansas.
HOME SWEET HOME-Texas went 27-7 last season at the friendly boundaries of UFCU Disch-Falk Field. During the regular season, Texas played a total of 34 home games and 30 away games from UFCU Disch-Falk Field. In home games, Texas had a team batting average of .340 and a fielding percentage of .990. The Longhorns also drew a record 6,918 home attendance last season, the fifth-highest average in the country.
OWN THE DISC—Much of the Longhorns’ success under head coach David Pierce is due to dominance at home. Since 2017 Texas has produced a 148-40 (.787) record at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, including a 27-7 record last season. Since the stadium opened in 1975, Texas has gone 1580-400-3 at home for a .798 winning percentage. The fan base has also done a great job of making the Disch a tough place to play. With the exception of the 2021 season due to limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas led the Big 12 in attendance 15 consecutive seasons.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS—It’s an old adage that worked well on Texas’s journey to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 2021 and 2022. Through the 2021 season, the Longhorns’ .980 fielding percentage led the Big 12 and was the 10th largest fielding percentage in the nation. In 2022, Texas tied the program record and led all Division I baseball in . 985 fielding percentage.
INFIELD SHOTS MACHINE—Throughout his career at Forty Acres, Eric Kennedy used his speed as a means of getting to base. With seven infield singles (three bunts) season one, Kennedy now has 58 career infield singles (31 bunts). As of 2021, Kennedy had 27 internal singles, including 16 bunt hits.
WEDDINGS—Several freshmen will play major roles this season, including insiders Jalin Flores (San Antonio) and Jared Thomas (Waxahachie). Flores is likely to start at third base on Opening Day, while Thomas should be the Longhorns’ starter at first base. Additionally, infielders Jayden Duplantier and Cade O’Hara, catcher Rylan Galvan, outfielder Max Belyeu, and pitchers Kobe Minchey, Max Grubbs and Pierce George could all find significant playing time.
bomb squad-Texas shattered the program record for most home runs in a season in 2022, smashing 128 bombs in 69 games. His home run total led the Big 12 and ranked third nationally. Seven different Longhorn players hit 10 homers for the first time in program history. Only one of those players with more than 10 homers last season returns in 2023, as Dylan Campbell hit 10 Bombs as a sophomore. In all, only 23 of the homers were hit by returners.
LISTEN TO THEM—In partnership with Learfield IMG College, Texas games will be broadcast on the Austin Radio Network, primarily on 104.9 The Horn and AM 1260. Craig Way handles key play-by-play duties alongside Roger Wallace. Fans this season will also hear analysis from Longhorn greats Keith Moreland, Ty Harrington and Nathan Thornhill throughout the season.
LOOK AT THEM-Nearly all of Texas’ home games will be televised on the Longhorn Network this season. The team of Keith Moreland and Greg Swindell will return to the booth to call action for all 36 home games.