2023 College Baseball Showdown

Texas Longhorns Baseball Look To Get Back To 2023 College World Series

Texas Longhorns Baseball Look To Get Back To 2023 College World Series

Texas Baseball returns to the diamond at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown, where the Longhorns will have games against Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt.

Feb 6, 2023 by Joe Harrington
Texas Longhorns Baseball Look To Get Back To 2023 College World Series

The winningest baseball program in NCAA history will begin its 2023 season close to home at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. 

The Texas Longhorns return to the diamond at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown, where they will begin the 2023 college baseball season with games against Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt. 

Texas is one of three Big 12 programs playing at the event and one of five preseason-ranked teams, according to some polls. 

The Longhorns are also one of two programs at the event which made the 2022 College World Series, the other being Arkansas. 

But that was last year. Here’s what we know about the 2023 Texas Longhorns baseball team. 

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Texas Baseball Begins Season In Some 2023 College Baseball Rankings

There are four major preseason polls in college baseball, and the Longhorns found themselves in the mix. 

Here is where Texas is ranked in the polls:

  • Collegiate Baseball: No. 25
  • Perfect Game: No. 24
  • The two other rankings, Baseball America and DIBaseball.com did not have the Longhorns in their top 25.

Is Texas Picked To Win The Big 12 Baseball Title In 2023?


The Longhorns were picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 by league coaches. TCU and Oklahoma State, the two other teams playing at the College Baseball Showdown, are picked to finish first and second in the league. Texas Tech is third, followed by Texas, which received no first-place votes.

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Does Texas Baseball Have Any MLB Prospects?


The Longhorns return 6-foot-5 right-hander Tanner Witt, a preseason All-Big 12 player, who is the No. 24-ranked prospect on MLB’s draft prospect list. Witt looked the part as a redshirt freshman in 2022 before his season ended with Tommy John Surgery in March. Witt, in two starts in 2022, had a 1.64 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 14 innings. 

It’s unclear if Witt will‌ pitch in 2023 as his elbow recovers and with his draft stock still high. 

If Tanner Witt Can’t Pitch, Lucas Gordon Will Be Key For Texas Baseball

Lucas Gordon was also picked as a preseason All-Big 12 player in 2023. He is coming off a 7-2 season with a 3.05 ERA. He became a weekend pitcher for Texas after the loss of Witt and was named a second team All-Big 12 performer. 

Texas Baseball Must Replace Ivan Melendez On Offense

The 2022 Longhorns made the College World Series in large part because of the bat of Ivan Melendez. He was the 2022 Golden Spikes Award winner, the first player in Texas Baseball history to win the award. He won nearly every player of the year award for the sport, including the Dick Howser Trophy and the National Player of the Year by Baseball America. 

He finished with a .387 average with 32 home runs, 94 RBI and 31 doubles while slugging .863. 

Melendez was drafted in the second round, the 43rd overall pick, by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022. 

Texas will likely turn to Dylan Campbell, a returning junior who hit 10 home runs last season while batting .267. Eric Kennedy, a redshirt senior, also returns after batting .300 and hitting seven home runs. 

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Texas Baseball Most Accomplished Program At College Baseball Showdown

While Texas may be the fifth-best team, according to most preseason polls, at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown they are among the most successful college baseball programs in the sport.

The Longhorns enter the 2023 season with the best winning percentage in the history of college baseball at 72 percent. Texas is second only to Fordham in ‌all-time wins at 3,696

The Longhorns have nearly 900 more wins than Oklahoma State, which is the second winningest program among the six teams at the College Baseball Showdown. 

The Longhorns are tied with LSU for the second-most NCAA titles with six, trailing only USC. 

Texas holds the record for most College World Series appearances with 38, most CWS wins with 88 and most NCAA Tournament games won with 253. Texas has been to the NCAA Tournament more times than any college baseball program with 61 appearances. 

Who Is Texas Baseball Coach David Pierce?

In 2016, Texas fired Hall of Fame coach Augie Garrido and hired just the fifth coach since 1911 in David Pierce. 

Pierce followed two of the sport's most successful coaches in Cliff Gustafson, who won 22 conference titles and two national championships from 1968-1996, and Garrido, who won seven conference titles and two more national titles from 1997-2016. 

Pierce came from Tulane but had coached baseball in the state of Texas from 1989 to 2014, including at Sam Houston from 2012-2014. 

Since taking over at Texas, Pierce has won Baseball America Coach of the Year (2018) and made three College World Series appearances. He is 219-116 as the head coach of Texas. 

Texas Baseball Vs. Arkansas At College Baseball Showdown

Southwest Conference fans of yesteryear rejoice: Texas is back playing Arkansas, at least for one day. The two longtime rivals will play for the first time since Feb. 21, 2021, a 4-0 Arkansas win. 

Since 2005, Texas is 4-7 against the Razorbacks. 

How To Watch The College Baseball Showdown And The Texas Longhorns

Here is the Texas Baseball schedule at the College Baseball Showdown:

  • Feb. 17: Arkansas, 8 p.m. ET
  • Feb. 18: Missouri, 4 p.m. ET 
  • Feb. 19: Vanderbilt, 11:30 a.m. ET