Texas Tech overcame a 1-0 deficit with a two-run eighth inning only to have TCU respond with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the eighth, which held up for a 3-2 TCU win in the opening game for both teams in the College World Series in Omaha.
The Red Raiders (45-20), who are making their first-ever appearance in the College World Series, did not go all that quietly, though, in the final frame. The Red Raiders got two runners on in the ninth, but TCU closer Riley Ferrell was able to close out the rally by getting pinch-hitter Todd Ritchie to ground out ending the game.
Texas Tech defeated Big 12-rival TCU in two of three games in the regular season, but that was in late March before the Horned Frogs became virtually unbeatable after May 1. Sunday’s victory in the College World Series gives TCU 33 wins in its last 37 games and a record of 6-1 in the 2014 postseason. Five of those six TCU wins this postseason have been by a lone run.
“That’s the kind of baseball we’ve played all year,” said TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle in his postgame press conference. “I’m not telling you I’m comfortable with it, but these guys are. They don’t panic a bit. It’s just, hey, let’s put together some good at bats and see what happens.”
“It’s a tough way to lose your first game up here,” Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said. “At the same time, we won’t look back, and we’ll get ready to go on Tuesday.”
The Red Raiders will play the loser of the Sunday late game between Virginia and Ole Miss in an elimination game on Tuesday.
It was fitting that the eventual winning run in the TCU half of the eighth inning was driven in by sophomore outfielder Boomer White, who has come through all year long for the Horned Frogs. Right-hander Preston Morrison started for TCU and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits before handing the game over the Ferrell out of the bullpen Morrison stuck out a season-high 10 Red Raider batters.
Texas Tech starter Chris Sadberry also had an excellent outing, going seven innings and yielding just one run on three hits.
TCU advances to the winner’s game on it’s side of the CWS bracket. The Horned Frogs will next play the winner of Sunday’s Virginia-Mississippi game on Tuesday evening at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.