OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A workmanlike victory over Louisville has Texas coach Augie Garrido confident his Longhorns are in the right frame of mind to make a deep run at the College World Series.
Parker French and Travis Duke limited the Cardinals to four hits, and Texas manufactured runs in three straight innings to win 4-1 in an elimination game Monday.
The performance eased Garrido's concern about his team's state of mind after a 3-1 loss to UC Irvine in Saturday's CWS opener.
"The celebration has gone on from the time they got their invitation and punched their tickets to Omaha," Garrido said. "Once you get here, the celebration continues. It's easy to buy into that, and it's hard to refocus and get competitive. I didn't tell them until now, but it is hard to flip that switch."
The Longhorns (44-20) ended a four-game CWS losing streak dating to 2009 and will play UC Irvine in another elimination game Wednesday. Louisville (50-17) went 0-2 in the CWS for the second straight year and is 1-6 in three appearances in Omaha.
French (7-5) held the Cardinals to four singles in 7 1-3 innings, and Duke retired their last five batters for his first save.
It was French's second straight strong outing. The sinker-baller pitched six shutout innings in a win over Houston in super regionals and has allowed three runs in 20 innings in three NCAA tournament appearances. The Longhorns' pitching staff has a 1.35 ERA over its last eight games.
"We have a pitching staff that can stand up to the number of games we need to win to win the national championship," Garrido said.
Louisville sophomore starter Anthony Kidston (9-1) lost for the first time in 15 decisions as a collegian and the Cardinals committed four errors, just as they did in their elimination-game loss to Oregon State last year.
"It's the eight best and eight hottest teams in Omaha, so when you don't play clean, it gets magnified out here," Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said.
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