Texas manager David Pierce doesn't change much. He likes it that way.
For Texas, changing a strategy on how to better prepare for an opponent has helped them thus far, why change it up now? And although South Florida was far from a name they expected to see, Pierce's approach remains the same.
"We don't change a lot. We don't change anything," Pierce said. "South Florida is the next team we play. I would be really disappointed if all of a sudden we became super scouts this week, but we weren't doing that in March, April."
South Florida (31-28) heads to the Disch for the Austin Super Regionals. Texas (45-15), needs two wins to return to Omaha for the first time since 2018.
Pierce has some knowledge of what the Bulls can do during his time at Tulane in 2015-16. He went 5-1 in matchups against Billy Mohl in his lone season.
Another name who knows the program well? Texas third baseman Cam Williams.
Williams, a Tampa native, was recruited to play for the Bulls during his senior season. Instead, he headed to the Lone Star State to play for Dallas Baptist.
Now with Texas, he isn't afraid of anyone — especially his true hometown team.
"Everyone back home is going to be watching them but I'm excited to play baseball," Williams said Thursday. "It's the game I love. So, no matter the opponent, as you said, we're here and it's all about us."
The battle to the finish went two different ways for those headed to Austin. Texas needed three days and 33 runs to sweep the Austin Regional. South Florida battled after losing to South Alabama 4-0 on Monday to secure Gainesville.
Could this be an advantage for the Longhorns? Maybe so. The team has seen a majority of the USF's pitching staff.
The Bulls have seen five pitches from freshman Gordon Lucas and 10 from Aaron Nixon. Pierce said that while the freshman saw little action, it was important they had a taste of being a part of the win.
"I thought it was important to get Luke in that environment even if it was for one-hitter and same thing with Aaron," Pierce said. "We didn't have a close situation but to get him, Tanner [Witt], Cole [Quintanilla] all an inning and feel like they contributed and felt comfortable in that environment hopefully pays dividends for us this weekend."
Of course, Texas will be relying on their "big three" to start things off right. Ty Madden can do it all on the mound. Tristian Stevens fires in strikes like a man on a mission. Pete Hansen has improved with his slider, making him deadly on payoff pitches.
Three of the four relievers Pierce mentioned are freshmen, playing in a must-win situation less than a year removed from high school. Some might feel the pressure, but Texas sees their new guns locked and loaded when Pierce calls to the pen.
"They're young, but they're experienced," catcher Silas Ardoin said. "They've pitched all season for us, they have heart, they come out there with that bulldog mentality."
Saturday will be South Florida's first time in the super regionals in team history. Texas though isn't fooled by beginner's luck. All-time, the Longhorns are 19-7 in super regional games.
Ardoin and Williams both say there are things they must do at the plate to become complete. The most important thing? Play their game at their speed.
If they do, they're two wins away from Texas' 37th appearance in Omaha.
"We're going to continue to grind out at-bats and continue to be who we are," Ardoin said. "Be able to beat teams in multiple ways and if we do that, we have a good chance."
CONTINUE READING: Way-Too-Early Predictions Week 2: Texas Vs. Arkansas
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