The TCU Horned Frogs used a two-run rally in the top of the ninth to defeat Pepperdine, 6-5, in game three of the Fort Worth Super Regional Monday afternoon, sending the Frogs to their second College World Series in program history.
With the win, TCU joins Texas and Texas Tech in Omaha’s field of eight. It marks just the second time in conference history that three teams have gone to the College World Series in the same season (2005 - Baylor, Nebraska, Texas). In 2005, the league went 8-4 in the CWS, playing each other on two occasions. The Longhorns claimed the national championship that season.
After a two-year drought with no teams advancing to Omaha, the Big 12 will be sending multiple members for the fifth time (1999, 2002, 05, 11) and has now totaled 18 CWS teams with a 22-26 record in CWS games.
The league improves to 19-7 in NCAA postseason play this season and went 6-3 in Super Regional action - the most wins in the Super Regionals since the 2005 season (6-2).
The Big 12 advanced 80 percent of its NCAA postseason teams to the Super Regional field and will now be represented with one-third of its baseball-playing institutions. Sixty percent of its NCAA tournament teams have advanced to Omaha.
TCU, Texas and Texas Tech’s Super Regional series wins as host sites marks the first time the Big 12 has had three teams win Super Regionals as host sites. The league’s squads are 28-13 as Super Regional host teams.
Texas Tech will be making its first trip in program history, while TCU is making its second (last in 2010) and Texas its 35th (last in 2011). All three teams have posted ERAs under 1.60 this postseason (TTU - 0.65, UT - 1.15 and TCU 1.59).
The Longhorns will open play next Saturday, June 14, against UC Irvine at 2 p.m. CT, while Texas Tech will play TCU on Sunday, June 15, at 2 p.m. CT. The three Big 12 teams are in the same four-team bracket at the event.
Monday’s Results (June 9)
No. 3 TCU 6, No. 11 Pepperdine 5 - TCU advances to CWS
Kyle Bacak’s suicide squeeze bunt in the top of the ninth produced the go-ahead run as TCU rallied for a 6-5 victory over Pepperdine on Monday in Fort Worth to win the Super Regional and advance to Omaha for the College World Series.
The Horned Frogs (47-16) will be making their second CWS appearance in the last five seasons. On both occasions, TCU won a Game 3 of the Super Regional. In 2010, it was at Texas.
TCU, having won 32 of its last 36 games, will open play in Omaha on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Texas Tech.
Trailing 5-4 entering the top of the ninth and with Pepperdine closer Eric Karch on the mound, the Horned Frogs’ rally began with a Garrett Crain leadoff single. Jerrick Suiter beat out a high chopper to short to put runners on first and second with no outs. Dylan Fitzgerald then doubled into the right field corner, scoring Crain to tie the game. One out later, Bacak’s squeeze bunt scored Suiter from third for the go-ahead run. It was also the first time TCU led in the game.
TCU closer Riley Ferrell (2-1) pitched the final two innings to earn the win.
Pepperdine (43-18) threatened in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch hitter Jack Ross drew a lead-off walk before being sacrificed to second. Ross then moved to third on a groundout. After a walk to put runners on first and third, Ferrell struck out Bryan Langlois swinging to end the game and put the Lupton Stadium crowd of 4,450 into a frenzy.
Jordan Kipper making just his fourth relief appearance in 16 outings this season, pitched four innings. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and not walking a batter.
TCU starter Tyler Alexander went three innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.
Karch was the fifth Pepperdine pitcher on the day.
Keaton Jones had three hits, while Kevin Cron, Fitzgerald and Bacak had two hits each to key a 13-hit TCU attack. Cron, who hit his fifth home run of the season, and Bacak each drove in two runs. Bacak had two sacrifice bunts in the game, giving him 18 on the season. His 20 total sacrifices on the season have set a TCU record.
After the Waves took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Horned Frogs tied the game in the top of the second. With two outs, Fitzgerald and Jones both singled. Bacak then plated Fitzgerald with a base hit to right.
Pepperdine answered in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer by Brandon Caruso to take a 3-1 lead.
Cron’s solo shot to left in the fifth trimmed the TCU deficit to 3-2. The Waves again answered in the bottom half of the inning as a solo home run by Aaron Brown made it a 4-2 game after five innings.
The Horned Frogs scored a pair of runs in the sixth to tie the game. Jones led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Bacak. Jones advanced to third on a groundout. After a walk to Derek Odell, Boomer White drove in Jones with a single to right. Cron then ripped a double down the left field line to score Odell and tie the game.
Pepperdine took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Langlois led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Brown to straightaway center. Ferrell then replaced Kipper on the mound. A sacrifice fly by Anderson scored Langlois.
TCU is one of just nine programs nationally to make at least two appearances at the College World Series in the last five seasons.
Sunday’s Results (June 8)
No. 10 Texas Tech 1, No. 16 College of Charleston 0 - Texas Tech advances to CWS
No. 11 Pepperdine 3, No. 3 TCU 2
Saturday’s Results (June 7)
No. 9 Texas 4, No. 5 Houston 0 - Texas advances to CWS
No. 10 Texas Tech 1, No. 16 College of Charleston 0
No. 3 TCU 3, No. 11 Pepperdine 2
No. 14 UC Irvine 1, No. 3 Oklahoma State 0 - Oklahoma State eliminated
Friday’s Results (June 6)
No. 9 Texas 4, No. 5 Houston 2
No. 14 UC Irvine 8, No. 3 Oklahoma State 4