A Rubber Match Made in Heaven: Texas Plays A&M for the Houston Regional Title Tonight


It’s like they can’t get enough of each other now.

In what could have been the only possible matchup in a big three men’s sport for years to come—and was the first such meeting in more than two years—Texas and Texas A&M will play for a third time in four days tonight at Reckling Park on Rice’s campus in Houston to decide the winner of the regional.

Though this matchup will be the last between the two teams for the foreseeable future, the renewed rivalry has at least one prominent fan with some pull, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson, who told the Austin American-Statesman, “I just love playing the Aggies.”

Longhorn shortstop C.J. Hinojosa glowed when asked about playing A&M.

“It was an honor,” Hinojosa said. “I thought we were never going to play them again and I don’t think we were supposed to. It was fun.”

In their first meeting on Friday—and what would have been their only game against each other had A&M not mounted an improbable six-run comeback against Rice to stave off elimination early on Sunday—the Longhorns defeated the Aggies handily, winning 8-1 behind seven masterful innings by Nathan Thornhill. Texas went on to beat Rice in an 11-inning nailbiter on Saturday night after an almost three-hour rain delay.

After Rice and A&M played early on Sunday to determine who would face Texas that evening, a game in which fate took the reins to provide hungry Aggie and Longhorn fans the right to a rematch, A&M won a squeaker over Texas. The 3-2 outcome in favor of A&M kept them alive for the rubber match at 6 p.m. As of this morning, UT coach Augie Garrido hasn’t named a starting pitcher.

“TBA is on the mound right now,” Garrido told the Statesman. “He throws with both hands.”

The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of the University of Houston vs. LSU in a best-of-3 series in the super regional. Win or lose tonight, three games against an old adversary ain’t bad, though the winner will come away with more than just the Houston Regional championship to gloat about.

Above: Catcher Tres Barrera tags out an Aggie runner at home. Image courtesy of Bethany Walter/UT Athletics


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