Now the Horned Frogs will have to hope the NCAA tournament committee thinks they deserve a bid to the postseason.
The Horned Frogs’ 7-6 loss in 10 innings to the Oklahoma State Cowboys could most likely end their season. A year ago, the Frogs were one out away from winning the Big 12 Championship title game before an error in the outfield allowed Baylor to escape. That TCU team received no favors from the NCAA.
“It’s another body blow for us,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Hopefully, the NCAA baseball committee was watching. And the No. 2 RPI league in the country should get five teams at a minimum, and if there’s going to be a fifth team, I think it should be TCU.”
TCU had moved up to No. 59 in the latest RPI rankings (ratings percentage index) after eliminating Oklahoma and Baylor, the No. 2-seeded team in the tournament. The Frogs, who were the No. 6 seed, then beat No. 3 seed Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon to force an elimination semifinal game. The game was postponed from Saturday night to 9 a.m. Sunday morning because of inclement weather in the area of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Fourth-seeded West Virginia, which beat top-seed Texas Tech twice to eliminate the Red Raiders, plays Oklahoma State in the championship game Sunday afternoon.
Austin Henry’s home run in the top of the 10th gave TCU a 6-5 lead, but OSU scored twice in the bottom of the inning for the win. The Frogs committed five errors, including a two-base error that put the tying run on third base for the Cowboys. One of OSU’s seven runs was unearned.
The Frogs’ chances of an earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament are slim based on their regular-season record. Their success in the Big 12 tournament helped, but probably not enough. The 64-team field is announced Monday. The Big 12 Championship tournament winner earns an automatic bid.
Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia are assured of earning spots in the postseason, despite how they performed at the tournament. All four teams are ranked among the top 32 teams in RPI.