By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
Even the most elastic rubber bands eventually wear out.
TCU, which had not lost back-to-back games in over two-and-a-half months and had been particularly resilient in the NCAA Tournament, rallied from 3-0 and 4-3 deficits to forge ties but came up short in a College World Series elimination game Thursday night.
The Horned Frogs, one of two of eight national seeds to reach Omaha, had its remarkable season end with a 6-4 loss to Ole Miss. Texas, which takes on Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. Friday, is left to carry the Big 12 Conference banner.
TCU (48-18) scored three in the bottom of the fourth to erase a 3-0 deficit. Boomer White dropped from third to sixth in the order, doubled home the first run and the next two runs scored on bases-loaded walks. With two outs and the bases loaded, Derek Odell hit a shot to right field that the Rebels’ J.B. Woodman chased down in the gap.
The Frogs’ Kevin Cron answered an Ole Miss run with a home run to left center in the bottom of the fifth. It was the second homer in this CWS.
In the eighth inning, TCU had the tying and lead runs at second and third with two outs but Keaton Jones grounded out to shortstop. The Frogs went down in order in the ninth.
The Rebels (48-20), who eliminated Texas Tech 2-1 Tuesday, grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The big hit was a two-run double to right center by designated hitter Will Allen, the No. 3 hitter in the lineup.
Allen’s single to center in the top of the seventh gave Ole Miss a 5-4 lead and Sikes Orvis double to left field – which was just fair – scored Allen with a two-out insurance run in the ninth.
Ironically for TCU, it was only second of nine NCAA games that was decided by more than one run.
TCU’s Kevin Cron and Boomer White combined to go 4-for-7 but the rest of the lineup just managed one hit. Cron had a game-tying homer and White had a run-scoring double.
Will Allen and hitter Sikes Orvis, the 3-4 hitters in the Ole Miss lineup, combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBI.
Numbers to know
Teams scoring five or more runs are 25-0 in in CWS game at TD Ameritrade Park.
The game was played before the biggest crowd (25,783) of the 2014 CWS. That’s the 10th largest for a CWS game in TD Ameritrade history.
TCU lost consecutive games for the first time since losing to Oklahoma State on March 29-30.
The Horned Frogs’ 48 victories tied for the second most in program history.
The Rebels’ runs in the fourth and seventh inning were scored by hitters that reached base via a walk and being hit by a pitch.
In its first two CWS games, Ole Miss scored three runs on six hits. Facing a TCU staff leading the nation in ERA, the Rebels scored six runs on 11 hits.
Ole Miss faces Virginia at 7 p.m. Friday. The Rebels need to beat the Cavaliers Friday and then again Saturday to reach the best-of-three Championship Series. Virginia is the No. 3 national seed; TCU was the No. 7 national seed.
TCU’s Boomer White, on the Ole Miss bullpen not allowing a hit over the last four innings: “When they brought their lefty in and their closer (they) did a great job of pitching down in the zone, throwing pitches or multiple pitches for strikes. It was tough for us to really barrel up balls. We only had five hits, six hits, so they did a good job with that.”
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle on his team’s season: “Really proud of our team considering if we were 15-12, and 2-4 at one point to finish with 48 wins and play in the College World Series, I'm really, really proud of them. It's really an honor to be wearing a TCU uniform today.”
Schlossnagle on moving Boomer White (who had two hits) from third to sixth in the lineup: “The whole point of putting him down there was exactly that, just give him a chance to see some pitches. He's still as good a hitter as we've had in our program, and he handled it like a man.”