TCU baseball remains alive at the College World Series after knocking off the No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. The Horned Frogs (43-23, 13-11 Big 12) have eliminated three top-16 national seeds from the NCAA Tournament after defeating No. 3 Arkansas to win the NCAA Fayetteville Regional and No. 14 Indiana State to claim the NCAA Fort Worth Super Regional. TCU will return to action on Tuesday afternoon and face the loser of the matchup between No. 2 Florida and Oral Roberts, who beat the Horned Frogs 6-5 on Friday.
TCU and Virginia were each bounced into the losers bracket after conceding ninth-inning leads in the opening round of the College World Series on Friday. The Horned Frogs struck first on Sunday, earning a 1-0 lead after first baseman Cole Fontenelle’s sacrifice fly scored center fielder Elijah Nunez, who laced an opposite-field double to lead off the game in the top of the first inning. The Cavaliers answered in the bottom of the first inning, putting two batters on base and scoring one run on a fielder’s choice groundout to tie the game at 1-1.
Despite a slow start to the afternoon, right-hander Sam Stoutenborough found his rhythm and contained the Virginia offense early in the game, at one time retiring 12 consecutive Cavalier hitters before exiting the game in the fifth inning. Stoutenborough threw four and two-thirds innings and struck out three batters while holding Virginia to two hits. TCU took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning, where Fontenelle fought off an RBI groundout to the first-base side to score catcher Karson Bowen, who singled to center earlier in the frame.
The Horned Frogs threatened in the fourth and fifth innings before finally cashing in during the top of the sixth inning, where Nunez smacked an RBI double to center to plate shortstop Anthony Silva. Right-hander Garrett Wright relieved Stoutenborough and held Virginia at bay before Cavalier outfielder Ethan Anderson belted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Horned Frogs. TCU responded in the top of the eighth inning, tallying an insurance run after right fielder Austin Davis bombed an RBI double to deep center to bring Silva home and give the Horned Frogs a 4-2 lead.
Wright struck out four hitters over two and two-thirds innings of work on Sunday, throwing 43 pitches before handing the ball to left-hander Ben Abeldt, who took over with one out in the eighth inning. Despite conceding an RBI groundout that brought the Cavaliers within one run, Abeldt escaped further damage in the eighth inning before striking out two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning, where the freshman overcame a two-out single to earn the save and secure the TCU win. The Horned Frogs finished with 12 hits in the win, while Virginia tallied only five hits. Davis went 2-for-2 with two walks to lead the TCU offense.