After a heartbreaking loss to start the College World Series on Friday, TCU exacted its revenge against Oral Roberts on Tuesday afternoon, fending off a ninth-inning comeback effort and eliminating the Golden Eagles with a 6-1 victory. Oral Roberts loaded the bases in the final frame, but sophomore right-hander Cohen Feser ended the threat with a full-count cutter that caught the outside part of the plate for the final out of the game. TCU (44-23, 13-11 Big 12) advances to face No. 2 Florida on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m.
The Horned Frogs took an early lead on Tuesday, scoring after right fielder Austin Davis drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the first inning and Oral Roberts starter Brooks Fowler balked in the top of the third inning, allowing designated hitter Kurtis Byrne to come home. First baseman Cole Fontenelle remained red hot at the dish, sending an RBI single through the second-base side to give TCU a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Fontenelle went 2-for-3 and drew two walks to reach base four times in the victory.
Fontenelle’s RBI knock sparked a four-run rally that pushed the Horned Frogs ahead 5-0 in the top of the fifth inning. After Byrne sent a sacrifice fly into right field, shortstop Anthony Silva came through with a two-run single that escaped the outstretched hand of Oral Roberts third baseman Holden Breeze and rolled into left field. TCU’s six runs were enough for right-handed starter Cam Brown, who threw three innings and struck out three batters without allowing a hit in his first outing since June 5. Brown navigated around three walks and handed the ball to right-hander Luke Savage, who logged one and two-thirds innings with two strikeouts, two walks, three hits allowed and one run allowed.
Making only his second appearance of the NCAA Tournament, Hunter Hodges delivered a tremendous boost out of the TCU bullpen. The right-hander fired two and one-third innings, his longest outing of the season, while striking out two batters and holding Oral Roberts scoreless over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Horned Frogs also received a clutch relief effort from Cohen Feser, who threw the final two innings and struck out two while overcoming a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the ninth inning, where Oral Roberts ignited a brief rally with a pair of two-out singles and a walk. TCU totaled 11 hits in the win, while Horned Frog pitchers stranded 12 Oral Roberts baserunners.
TCU will look to continue its success against ranked opponents on Wednesday, when the Horned Frogs face the Gators in hopes of staying alive at the College World Series. TCU may be 5-0 against national seeds in the NCAA Tournament, but the Horned Frogs will have to beat Florida two straight times in order to advance to the three-game championship series.