Finny, Finny, Finny can't you see sometime your K/9 just hypnotize me, but I just love your flashy ways---guess that's why they're broke and you're so paid. Brandon Finnegan was dominate most of the game and after a late game scare, Riley Ferrell came in and struck out 4 of 5 batters to give TCU the opening win of the series.
TCU got things going in the bottom of the 2nd with a little help from the baseball gods. After Pepperdine left fielder Brandon Caruso made an outstanding catch that was ruled a Kevin Cron hit, the Waves put together some nice defense and got out of the inning despite TCU's four hits. Finnegan and TCU roared back. The Frogs got out of a 2-out jam in the top of the 3rd and put away the Waves' best hitter, Aaron Brown, on a strike-out to end the inning.
The Frogs did something they haven't done in a while: look confident at the plate in the opening game of a series. But it it took awhile to collect any dividends. Cody Jones reached base to get things going with one out in the top of the 3rd, who was advanced on a beautiful hit-and-run by Derek Odell. With the bases loaded, Kevin Cron hit an infield fly and Garrett Crain followed with a really hard hit out to right the end the inning.
TCU came back in the bottom of the fourth and continued to get some ping going in the bottom of the 4th. Once again, the Frogs loaded the bases with 2-outs and Derek Odell came up big with a 2 RBI single to put the TCU up 2-0 going into the top of the 5th. It started to unravel for the Waves in the top of 5th thanks a to a Garrett Crain single to advance Kevin Cron to third. This set-up up a Fitzgerald fielder's choice to give TCU a 3-0 lead, which --- at the time---felt like a 10-0 lead.
With a pitch count that began to climb in the high 90s, Pepperdine's Corey Miller began to show his lethargy. Miller was taken out right at 100 pitches and the Waves brought in junk-baller Ivan Dilda who got Derek Odell to ground into a double play to end the bottom of the 6th.
Chris Fornaci made things interesting in the top of the 7th with a 2-run shot of Brandon Finnegan, which was only the third hit Finny gave up all day. With a 90s-era cleat game that's absolutely insane, Trey Teakell came in after the home run and did what he's done so well all year---get. people. out.
Riley "Wild Thing" Ferrell came in for Teakell with runners on 2nd and 3rd and Pepperdine knocking on the door. Ferrell got Anderson to strike out and the Waves' best hitter, Aaron Barnett, to ground out to end the top of the 8th. Rotating high-velocities with a dirty breaking ball, Ferrell continued to dominate in the top of the 9th, striking out two of the three Pepperdine batters, including Fornaci, as TCU picked up the first win in the Super Regional.
This was as fine as Brandon Finnegan has looked all year. Finny began to pick up some heavy steam in the top of the 4th striking out 2 of 3 Pepperdine hitters---most notably Aaron Barnett, a .373 hitter who only strikes out 1 out of every 19 at-bats. Finny continued to be dirty, striking out the side in the top of 5th to give him 7 on the day. His only slip was the homerun to Chris Fornaci in the 7th.
From the looks of things, it'll be Big 12 Pitcher of the Year versus Pepperdine's ace, Aaron Brown.