FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU scored two-runs in the ninth inning to take the lead on a suicide squeeze by senior Kyle Bacak that scored Dylan Fitzgerald to beat Pepperdine 6-5 in game three of the Fort Worth Super Regional. The Horned Frogs staff allowed more than two runs in consecutive games for the first time since April fourth but the offense came through to push across enough runs to scratch out a victory and a trip to Omaha.
The Waves would jump to an early 3-1 lead on TCU starter Tyler Alexander with freshman Brandon Caruso tripling to lead off the game helped by a misplay on the fly ball by Fitzgerald in right. Caruso would score on a single by Aaron Brown whose bat awakened in this elimination game.
The Horned Frogs tied the game when Bacak singled to the gap in right field with two-outs and two runners on to score Fitzgerald making the score 1-1. Pepperdine would immediately counter in the top of the second as Caruso followed up his lead-off triple with a two-run homer that scored sophomore Chris Fornaci and give the Waves a 3-1 lead that would eventually send Alexander from the game in an early exit.
In the fifth junior slugger Kevin Cron pulled the Horned Frogs within a run as he hit a solo shot but the Waves would hit right back in the home half of the fifth as Brown answered with a solo homer of his own to push the lead back to 4-2.
The lead wouldn’t stand long as TCU would rally for two runs in the sixth as Boomer White got in on the action with an RBI single with runners on the corners that scored Keaton Jones. Kevin Cron then added another big hit with an RBI double that scored Derek Odell to tie the game at 4-4.
Pepperdine would put a rally together in the eighth as Bryan Langlois led-off the inning driving a single to center and then Brown doubled to put both runners in scoring position with no outs. Riley Ferrell came on for TCU and allowed Lanlois to score on a sac fly by Brad Anderson before getting a pop out and a strike out to end the rally.
The Waves sent closer Eric Karch to the bump for the save in the ninth but he immediately surrendered back-to-back singles before allowing Fitzgerald to battle back from down 0-and-2 to drive a double to the corner in right that scored Garrett Crain to tie the game and put two runners in scoring position with no outs.
Keaton Jones then popped out before Bacak laid down the suicide squeeze that scored the go ahead run at 6-5. Ferrell worked a second inning and got the strike out with runners on the corners to end the game and send TCU to the College World Series for the second time in the school’s history with a 6-5 win that eliminated Pepperdine.