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Baseball: TCU cruises over Arkansas for NCAA Fayetteville Regional crown

The Horned Frogs will advance to the Super Regionals after a 12-4 win against the Razorbacks on Monday.


A late-inning offensive surge propelled the TCU baseball team to its eighth NCAA Regional Championship on Monday afternoon. Behind a four-RBI effort from right fielder Austin Davis, two home runs from designated hitter Kurtis Byrne and a three-RBI outing from first baseman Cole Fontenelle, TCU scored nine unanswered runs across the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to take down No. 3 overall seed Arkansas 12-4 and advance to the NCAA Super Regional Series. The Horned Frogs (40-22, 13-11 Big 12) will take on No. 14 seed Indiana State, who won the NCAA Terre Haute Regional title on Sunday afternoon.

TCU dominated the NCAA Fayetteville Regional bracket, outscoring opponents 44-13 over three games while improving to 3-0 this season against the Razorbacks, who the Horned Frogs have outscored 50-15 in three matchups. Monday’s win means TCU will advance to the NCAA Super Regional Series for the first time in six years. Right-hander Cam Brown started on the mound for the Horned Frogs, throwing four and one-third innings with four strikeouts and four walks while holding Arkansas to two hits. Left-hander Ben Abeldt closed out the win in dominant fashion, firing the final four and two-thirds innings with four strikeouts and two walks while limiting the Razorbacks to one hit and zero runs.

Arkansas struck first with one run in the top of the first inning. Davis answered for the Horned Frogs in the bottom of the second inning, sending a two-run single up the middle to bring home shortstop Anthony Silva and designated hitter Kurtis Byrne. The Razorbacks retook control with two home runs in the top of the fifth inning, where Abeldt entered in relief of Brown and ended the Arkansas threat with the Razorbacks leading 4-2. TCU put two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth inning, where second baseman Tre Richardson slapped an RBI groundout to the second-base side to score catcher Karson Bowen.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Davis delivered perhaps the biggest at-bat of the afternoon for the Horned Frogs, belting a two-run homer over the left-field fence and giving TCU a one-run lead. Fontenelle followed with an RBI single later in the frame, poking a base hit through the right side of the infield. Byrne crushed a solo homer to right-center in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Horned Frogs a 7-4 lead over the Razorbacks. Arkansas had one batter reach base in the top of the eighth inning, but a solid defensive play from third baseman Brayden Taylor sparked a frame-ending double play for TCU.

The Horned Frogs broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring five runs on three hits including a two-run homer from Richardson and a solo blast from Byrne. Fontenelle ignited the five-run frame with an opposite-field two-run double that landed just inside the third-base line. Abeldt took the mound in the top of the ninth inning and closed out the win for the Horned Frogs, earning his third win of the season and moving to 3-3. TCU outscored Arkansas 32-9 over two games to secure its NCAA Regional title. The Horned Frogs are looking to reach the College World Series for the first time since 2017.