The ol' #ToadToOmaha lives for another night, as Tyler Alexander and the No. 7 national seed Horned Frogs knocked off North Carolina State 8-2 to force a Monday night, winner-take-all matchup.
Alexander pitched a complete game 3-hitter, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning, and giving TCU's bullpen all the rest it will need to be ready for Monday night. Alexander's final line read 110 pitches, 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 K. His pitch to contact style resulted in 17 fly ball outs for N.C. State, but that didn't mean he wasn't in control. Alexander's pitch count was incredibly low coming into the seventh inning, as he entered the inning having thrown only 59 pitches.
An error by Keaton Jones would erase Alexander's perfect game, and a single by the next batter would erase his no-hitter. After the game Alexander said he wasn't even thinking about the no no, because, as he said, "I pitch to contact."
Four Frogs had multi-hit games, and seven Frogs totaled 12 hits on the night. Cody Jones paced the Frogs as he has all season, going 3-for-5 and scoring two runs.
Derek Odell got the scoring started in the second inning with a single to shallow right center, which pushed Skoug and Brown around to score, giving the Frogs a 2-0 lead. Three runs in the next inning pushed TCU's lead to 5-0, and the Frogs never looked back.
North Carolina State's starting pitcher, Ryan Williamson, lasted just 2.2 innings and 56 pitches, giving up four earned runs, five runs total, in that amount of time. Reliever Cory Wilder came in and pitched admirably for six full innings and 112 pitches, saving the Wolfpack's bullpen from what could have been a brutal evening.
Logan Ratledge hit his second home run of the regional to lead off the ninth inning, but it was too little, too late for N.C. State at that point.
The Frogs and Wolfpack will meet up again Monday night at 7:00 p.m., with the winner heading to the Super Regional.