Texas accounted for a couple of firsts at this year's College World Series — as in first home run and first shutout.
C.J. Hinojosa broke the CWS' long homer drought in the seventh inning, and Chad Hollingsworth and Travis Duke limited UC Irvine to four hits in the Longhorns' 1-0 win over the Anteaters in an elimination game Wednesday night.
Hinojosa's second homer of the season was the first at the CWS in 115 innings dating to last year.
“Four players fainted,” Texas Coach Augie Garrido joked, describing his dugout's reaction when Hinojosa's drive left TD Ameritrade Park.
The Longhorns (45-20), who won only the second 1-0 game at the CWS since 1985, advance to a bracket final against Vanderbilt. They need to beat the Commodores (48-19) on Friday and again Saturday to reach next week's best-of-three finals.
Irvine (41-25), among the last four teams picked for the 64-team NCAA tournament, went 1-2 in its surprise CWS appearance that came about after it upset No. 1 national seed Oregon State in a regional and swept Oklahoma State on the road in a super regional.
“Everybody's just heartbroken tonight,” Irvine Coach Mike Gillespie said. “The time will come when we're objective and realize that we accomplished a lot.”
The Anteaters beat Texas 3-1 in the CWS opener Saturday.
Hollingsworth (4-0) followed a complete-game win over Texas A&M in a regional final with another strong performance. Only two Irvine runners made it past first base against him, and he struck out five and walked none before he left to an ovation.
Hollingsworth got a boost from the biggest defensive play of the game. Irvine had a man on first in the third inning when center fielder Mark Payton ran down Taylor Sparks' deep drive into the gap.
“It takes a special team to get this far,” Irvine's Connor Spencer said. “During the season, you really wouldn't have known that we were that special team. But as soon as our name was called on that announcement show, things kind of changed and guys' hearts started to come out.”