With the 2018 season now in the books its a good time to look back on this season and reflect on what was accomplished and what we can expect in 2019. First, a little history. I started really watching Texas baseball when I was 11 about to turn 12 years old in 1982 and watched the CWS on ESPN. I remember watching Texas lose to Miami but getting hooked on college baseball. The next year Texas won it all and I cheered my little head off. I was disappointed when Texas lost in finals in 84 to an Augie Garrido led CS Fullerton and devastated when the Horns lost two straight to Miami in 85 in the finals. When I got to Austin at the end of the 80's as a student the Disch was my weekend home and for the 30 plus years since my time in Austin I have followed every game I can and find myself looking for the score when I cant. That is long way of saying that like many of you I have lived and died Texas Longhorn baseball for a long time. With the perspective of going on 36 years of watching Texas baseball, I look at 2018 and think a lot about 2000. That was the year that Augie and his philosophy seemed to truly take hold of the program and the hangover of the end of the Gus era seemed to finally come to an end. After a losing season in '98 and a two and que regional berth in '99 down in Houston, it was the 2000 team that won 46 games, upset Arizona State in Tempe regional twice out of the losers bracket and won a home super regional over Penn State (who were also an upset winner of a regional and thus Texas could host Super) to finally get Texas back to Omaha. That 2000 team also lost both games in Omaha but it was the getting there that mattered. Like 2000 this team has the potential to be the turn the page team that starts another run. While the Horns would lose to Stanford in the regional round in 2001 they would follow that with 4 straight CWS appearances and ultimately would have 6 CWS appearances in 10 years which would include two national titles, two second place finishes and one national semifinal appearance. The run from 2000 to 2009 is arguably the best decade in the history of Texas baseball (its either the '80's or the 2000's and two NC's in 2000's and the tougher competition in that decade to me gives edge to the 2000 decade though I will concede the 80's teams won more games and change 84, 85 or 89 and maybe I would put the 80's as best decade). Regardless of which decade was the best it was the 2000 team that started the most recent tremendous run. Now does that mean this is start of another great ten year run, I don't know, but I like to think that this team and what Pierce is doing has that possibility. This team overachieved winning the Big XII regular season title and getting to Omaha. While the pitching was solid it was not great and there were weekends and games where the pitching just wasn't there. The Horns were not good away from the Disch and those struggles on the road almost cost Texas a regional host spot. I think in particular of lost weekends in Morgantown and Manhatten, Kansas and lost series against two pretty bad teams. Except for Stanford, the Horns won every other home series and they don't sniff the super regionals if they have to travel to a regional. Texas showed it could win on road in Lubbock and Norman but they will have to improve away from Austin next year to take the next step. Some lasting memories from this year will be Hamilton's walk off against Texas State, Kody's walk off against TCU, beating aggy in the regional and a game three of a super regional that was as intense as any game I have watched in years. The sweeps of Baylor and TCU were sweet and winning the Big XII regular season outright when they trailed by three games with six to play was incredible. No one could have predicted the kind of year Kody had. I think we all thought he could have a good year but not the one he had and that is a lot of offense to have to replace next year. The Horns will lose at least two of their weekend starters and maybe all three. The JUCO experiment was a definite success this year and while it is always preferred to have players from their freshman year on, filling holes with JUCO's is never a bad thing. Pierce has shown an ability to adapt to the players he has and that is something that cannot be valued enough. Without the JUCO's this year Texas struggles to be a regional team let alone a host or super regional winner. Fall ball will tell us a lot about who will step up to fill the void on offense left by Clemens and who the weekend pitchers will likely be. While Texas lost its best incoming recruit (which really wasnt a surprise and I think Pierce knew he would never get him on campus and had planned accordingly), there are a couple of freshman arms coming in and there will likely be another JUCO like Bocci brought in to be weekday starter. Texas has another tough schedule next year, another thing I really like, and while there may be a step back remember that 01 was a step back from 2000 but was the launching point for the rest of the decades success. Hook em and see you next spring for another season of Texas baseball.