OMAHA, Neb.(AP)—Southern Mississippi reliever Jonathan Johnston walked Brandon Loy on four pitches with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give Texas a 7-6 win in the College World Series on Sunday night.
The Longhorns’ final three runs scored on bases-loaded walks. Of Texas’ last 11 batters, six walked and one was hit by a pitch.
The Golden Eagles’ dismal pitching performance in their Omaha debut spoiled an otherwise gutty performance against the No. 1-seeded Longhorns.
Texas (47-14-1), in the CWS for a record 33rd time, moves on to a Tuesday game against Arizona State. Southern Miss (40-25) will try to stay alive against North Carolina in a Bracket 2 elimination game the same day.
The Eagles used an infield single, a wild pitch, a bases-loaded walk and the first catcher’s interference call at the CWS since 1981 to take a 5-4 lead in the eighth.
Texas loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half against Scott Copeland and Collin Cargill, with Cargill walking Brandon Loy to bring in the tying run. Josh Fields came on to strike out Cameron Rupp, but then walked pinch hitter Kevin Lusson to make it 6-5.
Southern Miss tied it the top of the ninth on James Ewing’s single off Taylor Jungmann (9-3).
Johnston, the fifth Southern Miss pitcher, relieved Fields (2-1) with one out in the bottom half. The side-arming Johnston struck out Tant Shepherd, but then he threw only one strike on his final eight pitches.
The Longhorns rushed out of their dugout to greet Loy, his arms raised, after he touched first base.
Southern Miss rallied for three runs against star closer Austin Wood in a crazy eighth.
Texas entered up 4-2 after Russell Moldenhauer hit his first home run of the season to break a sixth-inning tie.
Wood came on after starter Cole Green gave up a leadoff double to pinch hitter Adam Doleac. Nick Smith, who ran for Doleac, scored on a wild pitch after Taylor Walker’s infield single. Wood walked James Ewing, and pinch hitter Brian Dozier reached on catcher’s interference to load the bases.
Wood missed outside on a full count to Corey Stevens to force in the tying run. The Eagles went ahead when Joey Archer grounded to third and Michael Torres bounced his throw home. Catcher Cameron Rupp couldn’t hold on to the ball as James Ewing slid in safely.