Nathan Thornhill was selected by the Astros in the 24th round of the 2013 First-Year Play Draft, but elected to remain a Texas Longhorn for his senior season with one goal in mind: a return to the College World Series.
Thornhill, who was drafted in the 13th round by the Phillies this year, got a taste of College World Series action as a freshman. After Texas failed to punch a ticket to Omaha, Neb., during his sophomore and junior seasons, Thornhill was hungry for one more crack at it.
The right-handed pitcher is doing exactly what he set out to do by returning to Texas. On Friday, he twirled seven innings of two-run ball against Houston to move the Longhorns to within a game of advancing. And by winning Saturday's contest, Texas has returned to the College World Series for the first time since 2011.
As Philly looks to end its own postseason drought, it has targeted proven winners like Thornhill in this year's Draft.
"To pitch here and to pitch well and to put us back in the championship caliber, we need guys [who are winners]," Phillies assistant general manager of amateur scouting Marti Wolever said on Thursday.
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.