TCU’s first trip to the College World Series finals will have to wait.
After earning two chances to get there, the Horned Frogs couldn’t reach the championship series, losing for a second consecutive night to Coastal Carolina in the semifinals.
Tyler Chadwick homered for the Chanticleers in the second inning, and they put up six more runs in the next two innings to take command and eliminate TCU with a 7-5 victory Saturday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
We wanted to win this thing, man. We expected to win it, especially after we won the first game. And we didn’t look past anybody. But that’s straight credit to Coastal Carolina and the way they played.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle
The Frogs (49-18), who started 2-0 for the first time in the event, lost 4-1 to Coastal a night earlier, putting themselves in Saturday’s elimination game. With the two losses went the Frogs’ best chance in four trips to Omaha to reach the final.
“We wanted to win this thing, man,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We expected to win it, especially after we won the first game. And we didn’t look past anybody. But that’s straight credit to Coastal Carolina and the way they played.”
Coastal Carolina (53-17), which will face Arizona for the national championship, continued a rampage interrupted only by Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to TCU.
The Chanticleers defeated Big 12 champion Texas Tech in the losers bracket before beating TCU twice to reach its first final. They got to Omaha by winning a Super Regional at LSU of the SEC and defeated No. 1 national seed Florida in their CWS opener.
“You have to tip your cap in every way to what they’ve done,” Schlossnagle said.
TCU rallied with runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. Dane Steinhagen doubled with one out in the ninth and scored on Omaha native Ryan Merrill’s single, bringing up Michael Landestoy as the tying run. But the No. 9 hitter grounded into his third double play of the game.
We were putting the ball in play. Some hits just didn’t fall for us. We just couldn’t string a couple of hits together. Some timely hits that we needed, we didn’t get.
TCU center fielder Dan Steinhagen
The Frogs were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and 5-for-17 with runners on base.
“We were putting the ball in play. Some hits just didn’t fall for us,” said Steinhagen, who finished 3-for-3 in his last TCU game. “We just couldn’t string a couple of hits together. Some timely hits that we needed, we didn’t get.”
Catcher Evan Skoug, who was 2-for-4, wasn’t surprised by the rally.
“I mean, that’s our motto,” he said. “Dane and I learned that last year from the seniors who were here. We’re never out of the ballgame. That just shows how well the coaches do teaching us patience and swinging at the right pitches and just fighting back to know that we’re never out of a game.”
TCU had to rally because Coastal jumped out early against starter Jared Janczak.
After Chadwick’s home run, the first in the CWS for the Chants, they added two runs in the third on designated hitter G.K. Young’s triple to center in and out of Steinhagen’s glove as he leaped at the warning track, making it 3-0. Steinhagen said he couldn’t hear right fielder Austen Wade telling him how much room he had.
“I kept my eyes focused on the ball, and I didn’t check where I was, I didn’t check the wall,” Steinhagen said. “I was banking on hearing the warning track. It was in there, it ricocheted out. Two runs scored on it, but it wasn’t a game-changer.”
In the fourth, Anthony Marks and Zach Remillard hit RBI singles off Brian Trieglaff, who began the inning in relief Janczak (7-4). Left-hander Ryan Burnett entered for TCU and gave up Connor Owings’ two-run double to the right field line with two outs, capped a four-run inning that gave Coastal a 7-1 lead.
“We didn’t execute fastballs pretty much the whole night,” Schlossnagle said. “If you don’t command fastballs against a really good fastball-hitting team, you’re going to get beat up.”
We just came up a bit short.
TCU catcher Evan Skoug
Elliott Barzilli’s RBI single in the fourth inning provided TCU’s first run. Luken Baker’s groundout scored a run in the sixth, and Merrill’s sacrifice fly and a groundball RBI from Landestoy added two more in the seventh.
“We just came up a bit short,” Skoug said.
Coastal, which got a complete game from Andrew Beckwith on Friday night, got 6 1/3 innings from starter Alex Cunningham, who took the loss Tuesday night to TCU.
Right-handed reliever Bobby Holmes entered with a runner on third and one out in the seventh and squelched a rally with a ground ball and a strikeout.
Baker doubled with two out in the eighth inning, making him 15-for-38 with three homers and three doubles in 10 NCAA postseason games.
Freshman closer Durbin Feltman pitched three scoreless innings for TCU, giving him four in the College World Series.
Janczak, Trieglaff (4), Burnett (4), Feltman (6) and Skoug. Cunningham, Holmes (7) and Parrett. W—Cunningham. L—Janczak. 2B—CCU: Owings, Chadwick, Parrett. TCU: Steinhagen, Baker. 3B—CCU: Young. HR—CCU: Chadwick. E—TCU: Skoug.