Kent Emanuel

Texas starter Cole Green delivers a pitch in the Longhorns 3-0 loss to North Carolina. Green only lasted two innings in his final game as a Longhorn.

Photo Credit: Andrew Edmonson | Daily Texan Staff

All this time, Texas thought it was the team built on pitching.

North Carolina freshman Kent Emanuel took the Longhorns to school Monday, giving up just four hits and walking one batter in a complete-game shutout that sends the team back to Austin after a brief stint in Omaha.

“He mixed pitches early in counts and kind of had us on our heels the entire game,” said junior shortstop Brandon Loy. “He hit spots and threw three pitches for strikes. That makes it tough on hitters.”

Emanuel looked like the starting pitcher Texas was missing. He was sharp even after reaching a 126 pitch count. The Longhorns were unable to even get a sharp hit off him.

“I threw inside less today than I have all year,” Emmanuel said. “It’s definitely from my changeup, just getting them out in front.”

Emanuel out-dueled Texas’ Cole Green — if you can call a two-inning, two-run outing a “duel” — and mastered the zone, walking only one hitter and throwing 84 of his pitches for strikes.

It was the second consecutive game the Texas offense struggled to get runners on base. On Saturday against Florida, the team was unable to draw a walk, and three of its four runs were unearned. But that’s not nearly as bad as the goose egg the Longhorns put on the board against the Tar Heels: four hits (UNC’s Ben Bunting had the same amount) and no runs, just the second time all year the team has been shut out.

With how dominant Emanuel was, and how poorly Texas swung the bats Monday, it’s no surprise that the Longhorns are leaving Omaha empty-handed.

“We never got the momentum, never,” said head coach Augie Garrido.

Against Emanuel, the Longhorns didn’t get a runner past second base. They struck out five times. They popped up a ton. As the game wore on, it became increasingly obvious that they were most likely not going to get a run off him. The eighth and ninth innings, the last two innings of the season, passed without a hit.

“We didn’t have very many opportunities throughout the game,” Garrido said. “But I do feel we battled hard at the plate.”

Texas pitchers Corey Knebel, left, and Nathan Thornhill walk off the field following a 3-0 loss to North Carolina that eliminated the Longhorns from the College World Series.

Photo Credit: Andrew Edmonson | Daily Texan Staff

Cole Green struggled for Texas and Ben Bunting went 4-for-5 for North Carolina as the Tar Heels beat the Longhorns 3-0 to eliminate them from the College World Series on Monday. Freshman Kent Emanuel pitched a complete game for Carolina.

“We’re disappointed,” said junior shortstop Brandon Loy. “We didn’t come here to be the first team to leave.”
Green surrendered five hits in just two innings and didn’t look like the pitcher that staved off elimination for the Longhorns before.

“I was leaving the ball up a little bit early in the game,” Green said. “Any time I made a mistake, they took advantage of it.”

Chaz Frank and Bunting began the third inning with consecutive singles to end Green’s day after 40 pitches. Hoby Milner entered for Texas and struck the next two Tar Heels out, then issued a walk to load the bases. Jacob Stallings followed with a two-RBI single to center field to give North Carolina all the run support it needed. The Longhorns walked six batters, while Carolina only walked one.

“It was a brilliantly pitched game by their pitcher,” said Texas head coach Augie Garrido. “We had a couple of opportunities but they were limited.”

Emanuel surrendered only four hits to Texas, none of them for extra bases. Mark Payton was the only Longhorn to get into scoring position, but got tagged out on a double play fly out. Jonathan Walsh was also doubled up on a lineout to left field.

“Both were judgment plays in which we were being aggressive and it ended up being the wrong decision because of North Carolina’s athleticism,” Garrido said.

Emanuel had success with differentiating his pitches at the beginning of counts, and he made Texas work during every at-bat. The Longhorns had several double-digit pitch counts, but were unable to capitalize.

“We battled hard at the plate and we competed in the game, as was exemplified by the number of at-bats where we fouled off multiple pitches,” Garrido said.

The Tar Heels tacked on another run in the ninth inning for insurance on a two-out double by Bunting. The center fielder also scored in the game. North Carolina head coach Mike Fox said he flipped a coin to decidte to have Bunting hit in the two spot for the Tar Heels.

“The best we could have done today against that pitcher is tied for some more inning unless we scored somewhere along the line,” Garrido said. “I don’t think that stood in the way of our scoring because we only had four hits. I don’t think it was something where he was so overpowering and so overwhelming we were miss-swinging or confused or lacked confidence.”