OMAHA, Neb. — Texas had plenty of chances to create momentum in Friday’s 7-3 loss to Notre Dame in the opening game of the College World Series, but head coach David Pierce’s club never found the spark needed to get things going. A four-run loss with no extra-base hits, no multi-run innings and too many oh-so-close calls on defense that didn’t go their way added up to a much different experience for the Longhorns at Charles Schwab Field compared to six days earlier at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C.

Texas (47-21) punched a ticket to Omaha by winning two elimination games in the Greenville Super Regional thanks to a few critical in-game decisions by Pierce going the Longhorns’ way on top of their own ability to capitalize on opportunities to either score offensively or get out of a jam on defense. A stunning win over East Carolina in the Saturday game where they found themselves down to their final seven outs of the season preceded complete and thorough domination of the Pirates to clinch the 38th College World Series berth in program history.

Trying to get by a tough Irish team and into a winners bracket game with Oklahoma, Texas instead has to face Texas A&M in an elimination game on Sunday (1 p.m., ESPN) after a loss where Pierce said the Longhorns “were a step slower than they (the Irish) were yesterday.”