The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
An absolutely crazy ending to Monday’s Super Regional game between the Texas Longhorns and the Stanford Cardinal perfectly captured the full spectrum of emotions that are a part of every high-level sporting event.
The two sides were tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth with a trip to the College World Series on the line. It appeared as if the affair would head to extra innings when Stanford’s Drew Bowser, with two outs and runners on first and second, hit a fly ball into shallow right field.
Except Texas’ outfielders lost the ball either in the lights or in the early evening sky.
The lazy fly ball landed mere feet from right fielder Dylan Campbell, who could do nothing but hold his head in his hands as Alberto Rios raced around third to score the winning run.
And that wasn’t the inning’s only oddity. A few minutes prior, some in Stanford’s dugout briefly thought they had won when Rios hammered a ball that momentarily blended into the Pac-12 logo on the left-field wall. Rios even tossed his helmet in celebration before pulling into second base with a double and setting the stage for an unforgettable finish.
The incredible turn of fortune/misfortune sent Stanford to its third consecutive College World Series in Omaha and sent the Longhorns home thinking about what could have been.