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Micah Magic: How Texas A&M's Dallas Defeated Longhorns In College World Series

Micah Dallas used the crowd noise from the Texas A&M fan base to defeat Texas and remain alive in the College World Series

Micah Dallas isn't a stranger to the Horns down sign. Well before he became a pivotal factor in Texas A&M's resurgence in baseball, he was facing Texas in the Big 12 on the regular. 

Dallas, a transfer from Texas Tech, took on Texas in 2019 as a freshman. He faced them in 2021 as part of the Red Raiders' bullpen. Earlier this year, the right-hander was called upon to close things out in Austin against the Longhorns in a 12-9 victory. 

Once again, Dallas took to the mound against his former conference rival. He bested them in a 10-2 win to keep the Aggies' College World Series hopes alive a little longer. Much like when on the mound at UFCU Disch–Falk Field, Dallas flashed the double Horns down sign again. 

This time, there was more than bragging rights on the line. 

"It's kinda something that's just like breathing: death, taxes, and Horns down," Dallas said. "I mean, there's no hate toward them at all. They're a great ball club.

Dallas' fastball hovered in the mid-90s while the heat index at Charles Schwab Field teetered back and forth from double and triple digits. At first, he looks vulnerable against a star-studded Longhorn lineup. Things cooled after allowing two runs in the first two frames. 

A four-run second inning from A&M's offense gave Dallas the lead and confidence. Instead of looking at his 51 pitch count, Aggies' coach Jim Schlossnagle elected to start fresh with Dallas rather than keep a tally on when to go to the bullpen. The junior said postgame that Schlossnagle told him to "keep doing you" and quiet the outside noise. 

Quiet he did. The Longhorns recorded just three hits through the next three innings. Dallas would go five strong, allowing six total hits and two runs while striking out three. As he left the mound, Dallas thanked his offense for providing an ample lead. 

He also thanked the crowd for adding the extra boost and making Omaha, Neb. feels more like College Station. 

"You can either let it affect you in a positive or negative way," Dallas said. "The older you get and the more experience you have, you can use that energy from the crowd."

The Aggies (43-19) now are beginning a new tradition in Omaha; winning. For the first time in 29 seasons, A&M walks away with a victory attached to its name. Dallas was a third of the driving force to secure a Pringle-sized victory. 

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Another third came with an offensive explosion. A&M used 10 hits to score its 10 runs while also recording six walks for free bases. The Aggies outlasted the Horns in the strikeout battle, 10-9. 

The final piece came in the form of veteran reliever Jacob Palish. A graduate transfer from Stanford, the left-hander had been called upon in several of A&M's biggest moments this spring. Sunday was no different with a bases-loaded matchup against Texas' Ivan Melendez in the sixth.

Melendez, who led the nation during the regular season in RBIs and home runs, nearly sliced the lead in half as a 1-1 pitch just soared foul down the right-field line. On the next pitch, Palish made him pay with a strike at the knees for the punchout. The Aggies' dugout erupted while fans in burnt orange went silent. 

“Honestly, I’m a little numb right now,” UT coach David Pierce said. “The Aggies were better than us today.”

Younger fans of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry might not understand the ramifications of the victory. The Aggies and Longhorns often make noise on the football field, though its been over a decade since the two last met on the gridiron. All that will change no later than 2025 when they reunite in the SEC.

Dallas, a native of Aubrey, Texas, can remember having conversations with the Longhorns program coming out of high school. After electing to leave Lubbock, there wasn't a second phone call from Austin. Instead, there was one from Schlossnagle and the Aggies. 

Maybe the gusto of the Horns down meant more to Dallas than before. A win over a rival sends one team packing while another remains in contention for at least nine more innings. 

"When you're a little kid, you think about playing against your biggest rival on the biggest stage," Dallas said. "That's what happened today."

The Aggies will face Notre Dame in another elimination game on Tuesday at 1 p.m. 

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