Longhorns in unusual position as series nears|[6/8/05]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Longtime University of Texas coach Augie Garrido is not used to making travel plans this time of year.

Normally, his Longhorns baseball team is preparing to host a Super Regional. But a third-place finish in the Big 12 cost Texas a national seed and instead of playing on the artificial turf in Austin, Garrido’s team will be headed to Oxford for a weekend series with a trip to the College World Series on the line.

“We can’t sit back and worry about it. We have an opportunity and we plan to make the most of it,” Garrido said Tuesday.

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Garrido said his team will fly into, most likely Tupelo, on Thursday for the series that starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m., and if their needs to be a third game, it would be on Monday. A time for the third game has yet to be determined.

Ole Miss (47-18) is hosting the Super Regional because it received the No. 5 overall seed in the tournament, the first time the Rebels have received a national seed.

The Rebels swept through the Oxford Regional this past weekend, beating Maine once and Oklahoma twice by a combined score of 32-8.

It’s the deepest Ole Miss has advanced in the tournament since the switch to the current format six years ago. The Rebels claimed their first regional title since they won their NCAA district in 1972 – also the year of their most recent College World Series appearance. Ironically, Texas knocked the 1972 Rebels out of the World Series.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity of playing in Oxford,” Garrido said. “We understand that we will be playing one of the great college baseball teams this season.”

Texas, which had to come through the losers’ bracket to win the Austin Regional, is 14-10 this season in road games, and lost to Kansas twice on the road. The Horns were also swept by Baylor.

“Our road record has been more like road kill,” Garrido said. “It is certainly not as good as we would have liked. At times we haven’t handled foreign environments very well.”

He added, “we usually attract a team’s best effort. If we lose, it usually ends up in the other team’s media guide.”

The Longhorns, the second-winningest program in NCAA history, have won four consecutive regionals and a total of 30. They’ve played in a record 31 College World Series and have won five national championships.

Super Regional

Saturday 6 p.m. – Texas (49-15) at Ole Miss (47-18)

Sunday 5 p.m. – Texas at Ole Miss

Monday TBA – Texas at Ole Miss (if necessary)

To purchase tickets: Ole Miss athletic ticket office at (888) 732-8587, or (662) 915-7167.