It feels a little weird for Garrett Crain to be spending the night in a hotel room in his hometown area. The TCU second baseman grew up in nearby Mustang, Okla., about a 20-minute drive from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“It’s pretty cool to see some familiar faces in the crowd,” said Crain, who had two RBIs in the Horned Frogs’ 6-2 win over West Virginia on Thursday. “It’s really nice being back home in Oklahoma City.”
Crain attended Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., about 15 miles north of downtown Oklahoma City. He also attended Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla., before transferring to TCU last fall.
Home has treated him well. He has three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored in TCU’s first two Big 12 tournament games. His two-run double into shallow right field in the eighth inning Thursday helped TCU pull away from the Mountaineers. It was a pop-up that the WVU second baseman should have fielded, but the ball fell between the first baseman and right fielder.
“I was lucky it fell in. It wasn’t the greatest swing or the best hit, but that’s how baseball is sometimes,” he said. “You get robbed of hits and sometimes you get hits like that.”
Red Raiders stunned
Bottom-seeded Oklahoma scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to stun Texas Tech 9-8 on Thursday in a Big 12 tournament elimination game. The No. 4 seed Red Raiders (40-17) went 0-2 at the tournament.
Tech’s poor showing makes it highly unlikely to earn an NCAA Regional hosting bid. The Sooners (29-28) need to win the tournament to earn a bid to the postseason after finishing eighth in the Big 12. Oklahoma plays top-seeded Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We all know [Oklahoma is] probably the best eight seed around and they have a good team,” Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “They showed that today.”
Thursday’s loss was particularly vexing for Tech, which led Oklahoma 4-0 after the first inning and eventually built a 7-2 lead after the sixth. After adding a run in the eighth to lead 8-3, the Red Raiders surrendered three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth, including a game-winning, two-run single by former Keller Fossil Ridge standout Sheldon Neuse. Tech opened the tournament with a loss to Texas.
Baylor stays alive
Seventh-seeded Baylor defeated No. 3-seed Kansas 4-3 in Thursday’s morning elimination game. The Bears (25-30) play West Virginia at 3:15 p.m. Friday. Baylor scored four runs on five singles off Jayhawks ace Frank Duncan in the third inning. Drew Tolson (4-5) earned the win after allowing three runs in six innings. Josh Michalec picked up his 21st save.
19-0 TCU’s record when it scores six or more runs in 2014.
“In my mind they’ve already earned the right to be in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in this tournament. I kind of take it personally that anybody would even consider that they aren’t worthy because in the other conferences — the ACC and the SEC — if the team had a top-30 RPI they wouldn’t even think about not talking about them as a regional team.” — TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle on West Virginia’s postseason résumé.