No extras needed, TCU takes Fort Worth Regional with 6-1 win

Posted Monday, Jun. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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TCU didn’t need any extra time Sunday night.

The Horned Frogs defeated Sam Houston State 6-1 at Lupton Stadium to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.

It’s the fourth time TCU has advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals since 2009, but it’s the first time TCU has hosted.

The No. 7 national seed Frogs (45-15) will host Pepperdine (42-16), which defeated Cal Poly 10-6 late Sunday to win the San Luis Obispo Regional.

“We’re excited and glad to be still playing at this time next weekend,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “To be in front of our crowd and for the right to play in the College World Series is something that I’ve always dreamed of at TCU.”

Freshman pitcher Tyler Alexander (10-3) gave TCU another huge performance in a championship-clinching game. Alexander held the Bearkats to a run on six hits in his second consecutive complete game.

The Southlake Carroll alumnus threw his first career complete game in the Frogs’ Big 12 tournament title win last week in Oklahoma City. He struck out five and walked one and becomes TCU’s first 10-game winner since Matt Purke went 16-0 as a freshman in 2010, the school’s first and only College World Series appearance.

The Frogs have won 30 of their past 33 games and are 7-0 since the postseason began at the Big 12 tournament.

A best-of-three series for a chance to return to the CWS looms this weekend. The series will either be Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday at Lupton Stadium. Season ticket holders have the first shot at tickets and have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request tickets. Single-game tickets will be available at 8 a.m. Friday.

In front of 4,012 in attendance, TCU took a 3-1 lead with runs in the third and fifth innings. Both times the leadoff hitter reached with an infield single and later scored.

Cody Jones scored on Garrett Crain’s single to left to make it 2-1. In the fifth, Boomer White scored on Jerrick Suiter’s fielder’s choice to first base. SHSU first baseman Ryan O’Hearn tried to turn a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning, but the relay throw back to first was not in time, allowing White to score to make it 3-1.

Derek Odell’s two-out double set up another run in the sixth. Odell came around to score on White’s single to left to give the Frogs a 4-1 lead.

Both teams scored a run in the second inning.

The Bearkats took a 1-0 lead when Corey Toups led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on Hayden Simerly’s infield single to the right side and scored on Luke Plucheck’s sacrifice bunt.

TCU tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Cron led off with a double to left field and moved to third on Crain’s infield single. Cron scored on Suiter’s groundout to second. TCU stranded runners at second and third when starter Andrew Godail forced Keaton Jones to pop out and struck out Kyle Bacak to end the inning.

The Frogs added two runs in the eighth to stretch their lead to 6-1. Cody Jones and Odell had RBI hits. Keaton Jones led off with an infield hit and later scored on a suicide squeeze bunt from Cody Jones, who was safe at first with an infield single. Odell followed his 0 for 10 game by going 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI Sunday.

Sam Houston State’s Jason Simms, who started Saturday night’s game and threw 99 pitches, returned to the mound in the sixth Sunday night with the Kats trailing 4-1. He allowed a run in 11/3 innings.

TCU and Sam Houston State played a 22-inning, seven-hour marathon that ended after 2 a.m. Sunday. On Friday, TCU had to play 11 innings before beating Siena.

“I’ve never done that before,” Odell said. “I think the longest game I’d ever played was 15 innings against DBU earlier in the year. That’s hard to believe. It felt like a fall intrasquad game almost when we play two back-to-back games, except it was a regional semifinal.”

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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