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Texas beats Tennessee Tech to reach College World Series

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Kody Clemens and DJ Petrinsky hit home runs, Matteo Bocchi was effective in a rare appearance as a starting pitcher, and Texas defeated Tennessee Tech 5-2 Monday for a spot in the College World Series.

Texas (42-21), under second-year coach David Pierce, returns to the CWS for the first time since 2014.

Clemens, drafted recently in the third round by the Detroit Tigers, hit his 24th home run of the season -- one less than the national leader Spencer Torkelson of Arizona State. Clemens has 11 home runs in his last 15 games.

The matchup of starting pitchers seemed to favor Tennessee Tech.

But left-hander Alex Hursey (8-5), the No. 3 starter for Tech (53-12), lasted just three innings, allowing four runs.

Pierce used his No. 3 starter, Blair Henley, in relief on Sunday. So Bocchi (4-1) made only his fourth start of the season for Texas and allowed one run in a season-high five innings. Nolan Kingham, the Game 1 starter on Saturday and the sixth pitcher for Texas on Monday, came on in the ninth, walking one to load the bases but inducing Brennon Kaleiwahea to ground out and end the game.

Ryan Reynolds, moved from sixth to ninth in the Texas batting order on Sunday after a 2-for-17 performance through his first four NCAA Tournament games, doubled home two runs in the second.

Tech put itself in position to erase the deficit in the third, but Kaleiwahea struck out looking with two outs and runners on second and third.

Clemens and Petrinsky hit solo home runs in the third to put Texas ahead 4-0.

Tech scored one in the fourth and one in the sixth. The Golden Eagles had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth after two walks but Texas got out of it with a sacrifice fly and a ground out.

Copyright Associated Press 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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