LAS VEGAS -- For the second time in three days, San Diego State's offense pummeled TCU pitching.
But Saturday, the Horned Frogs' offense couldn't bail them out with a late comeback.
The Aztecs held on to defeat TCU 12-11 at Wilson Stadium in an elimination game at the Mountain West Conference tournament. San Diego State moved on to play New Mexico in the championship late Saturday.
The Frogs (36-19) leave their last MWC tournament early after going 1-2 and must wait until Monday to learn if they've earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Chances are good the Frogs have clinched a spot, but failing to the reach the MWC tournament championship looks bad on the résumé.
If TCU does earn its ninth consecutive postseason berth, it'll need to play much better than it did in Las Vegas.
After the Frogs rallied from a six-run deficit in the fourth inning to tie it at 9-9 with two runs in the eighth, the Aztecs scored three in the ninth and escaped a bases-loaded jam after the Frogs had scored two in the bottom of the inning. Davy Wright grounded out to Aztecs closer Justin Hepner (5-3), who earned the win.
Kevin Allen, who started the ninth and recorded two quick outs, walked the next two batters. Justin Scharf came in and had an 0-1 count on Ryan Muno when Josh Elander was called for catcher's interference. Replays showed Muno's bat hit Elander's glove on the pitch, and the Aztecs had the bases loaded to start their rally. Spencer Thornton and Jake Romanski both singled in runs to put San Diego State up 12-9.
"It was a very poorly played game on our part," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "It was gutty; we did a great job staying in it, but we played poorly."
Andrew Mitchell struggled in three innings Saturday and left after allowing six runs on eight hits in the fourth. San Diego State (26-33) built an 8-2 lead after scoring four runs in the fourth. Stefan Crichton replaced Mitchell after the Aztecs started the inning with two singles. The next three hitters reached on two walks and a single before Crichton got three outs to hold the Aztecs to a six-run lead.
Crichton settled down and held San Diego State to one run in the next four innings. Meanwhile, the TCU offense chipped away, scoring three in the bottom of the fourth and adding runs in the fifth and sixth to pull within 9-7.