OMAHA, NEBRASKA (KTSM) – A pair of El Pasoans and their high-powered college baseball teams squared off in the College World Series on Sunday night.
No. 7 Mississippi State and Socorro graduate Brandon Pimentel bested No. 2 Texas and Coronado graduate Ivan Melendez 2-1 in the first game for both teams in Omaha. Melendez started and batted clean-up as the Longhorn’s designated hitter; Pimentel did not see the field.
The Bulldogs led the Longhorns 2-0 for much of the game, until the bottom of the ninth inning. Mike Antico led off the frame with a solo home run to cut Texas’ deficit in half. Three batters later, Melendez was at the plate with two outs, representing the ‘Horns last chance.
After falling behind 0-2, the former T-Bird worked an impressive 11-pitch at-bat, finally coming through with a base hit to left field to keep the rally alive. The next Texas batter also got on base, moving the tying run to third.
However, with a chance to tie the game sitting 90 feet away, Douglas Hodo grounded out to second base to end Texas’ shot at a comeback.
Mississippi State moves into the winner’s bracket and will play Virginia at 5 p.m. on Tuesday on ESPN2. Meanwhile, Texas drops into the loser’s bracket and will square off with Tennessee in an elimination game at noon on Tuesday on ESPNU.