TCU took out a season’s worth of offensive frustration Saturday to stay alive in the NCAA tournament. The Horned Frogs outslugged Dayton 28-12 to score the most runs in coach Jim Schlossnagle’s nine-year tenure.
It’s the most runs scored by the Frogs (37-20) since TCU scored 30 against Louisville in 2003. Eight players had multi-hit games, including freshman Jerrick Suiter, who had a career-high five hits, with a double and triple, and three RBIs. The Frogs hit four home runs and compiled a season-high 23 hits. Senior outfielder Brance Rivera was on base four times and had a grand slam in the Frogs’ nine-run ninth. Rivera had a career-high six RBIs. His squeeze bunt in the second inning scored two runs and put TCU up 4-0.
TCU plays the loser between Texas A&M and Ole Miss at 12:35 p.m. Sunday. If the Frogs win that game, they advance to play the A&M/Ole Miss winner at 6:35 p.m. Sunday. If TCU wins twice Sunday then Sunday night’s teams will have a rematch at 6:35 p.m. Monday to see who advances to Super Regional.
Pitcher Justin Scharf, making his 35th appearance this season (a TCU record), earned the win with 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. He held the Flyers (31-30) four runs in the fifth after they had built a 9-6 lead against Trey Teakell. Andrew Mitchell started the game for the Frogs but came out after allowing four runs on two hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
After falling behind 9-6 in the fifth, TCU scored seven in the sixth, six in the seventh and finished with a nine-run outburst in the ninth. Nick Frey held the Flyers to one hit in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Dayton’s Robby Sunderman hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Axel Johnson, who was in to save the Frogs’ bullpen for Sunday.