Game 6: Texas A&M 15, TCU 9
Updated Monday, June 6th 12:36 AM CT
Texas A&M is headed to the Super Regionals!
The Aggies had been eliminated by TCU in their last four postseason matchups in the last decade and have finally broken that "curse".
This was an electric, back-and-forth game that displayed the best parts of college baseball.
Credit to Austin Krob (5.1IP, 2ER, 3H) for shutting down this potent Aggie offense for most of the game. The gutsy junior was the Friday night starter to start the year for the Horned Frogs until an injury shut him down for a while.
The bottom of the third saw the most runners for TCU up to that point. A hit by pitch of Sacco and a hard hit single for Brayden Taylor had two runners on, but A&M's not great defense allowed them to advance a bag on the throw.
A&M getting out of the bottom of the third only allowing one run was huge. Chris Cortez came in firing up to 98 with the fastball, induced an RBI groundout, and struck out Bobby Goodloe on three straight pitches.
The fourth inning saw more poor defense from A&M. Two errors directly led to two runs for TCU. Teams have figured out to just bunt on the Aggies and you'll stress them out.
Krob came out in the 5th after that chaos in the 4th and struck out the side, shutting down any hope of an Aggie rally.
A&M gutted out two runs in the top of the 6th, the inning in which the Aggies do most of their damage. A Ryan Targac single through the right side brought home Dylan Rock and moved Austin Bost into scoring position for a wild pitch to pull the Aggies within a run.
The 7th inning is where things finally opened up for this electric A&M offense. The Aggies quickly got the bases loaded off of a Brett Minnich single, Jordan Thompson screaming double into left, and a Kole Kaler walk. TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos called on the bullpen for Augie Mihlbauer and the slumping Trevor Werner picked a great time to break out of it with an RBI single. And after a Jack Moss RBI sacrifice fly, Dylan Rock did what Dylan Rock does best:
This 418' 3RBI blast off the batter's eye put the Aggies up 7-3.
To a standing ovation, Cortez gives way to Joseph Menefee after 3.2 innings of solid work with 2 runs- both unearned- and only one hit.
TCU decided they didn't want to roll over easily and answered the very next frame. Sacco hit an RBI single after two walks by Aggie pitching. Then Brayden Taylor snuck a two run blast over the right center field wall to tie the game at 7.
The craziness wasn't done there, though. Thompson walked to start the A&M action in the 8th and moved to 2nd on a sac bunt by Kaler, then he flew around third on a single to shallow center by Werner.
TCU showed their resilience by responding once more in the bottom of the inning. Tommy Sacco put the Frogs back on top once again with a bomb over the left center field wall.
However, a 40-minute top of the 9th that led to 7 runs for the Aggies was finally enough for A&M to break the TCU curse after having been eliminated from so many postseasons over the last decade by the Horned Frogs.
Texas A&M will host the winner of the Louisville-Michigan game tomorrow next weekend in College Station.
Game 5: TCU 6, Louisiana 1
Updated Sunday, June 5th 5:00 PM CT
The matchup we were all waiting for is here! TCU eliminates Louisiana to move onto the regional final to face Texas A&M and their head coach Jim Schlossnagle, whose previous 18-year coaching stint was in Fort Worth for the Horned Frogs.
Schlossnagle is the winningest coach in TCU baseball history and in his first year at the helm of the Aggies, he helped turn them into a title contender, winning the SEC West and winning 10 more SEC games than the Aggies won in 2021.
The story of this afternoon's game, however, is TCU starter Cam Brown. This was the longest outing of the year for Brown by pitches (114) and innings (8IP), surpassing his previous highs of 95 and 6IP.
Kirk Saarloos on Brown's performance: "When you're playing in a loser's bracket game, ... you're going to need special things from players on your team."
This special performance by Brown is exactly what TCU needed to have on a warm afternoon in College Station, saving their bullpen in a neat and tidy 3 hour and 8 minute game.
Offensively, the Horned Frogs got things going quickly in the 1st inning with this Brayden Taylor 2 run homer deposited into the bleachers in right.
This was really all TCU needed, but the Ragin' Cajuns made it interesting in the bottom of that frame, with two singles and a bases loaded walk scored a run. However, Brown shut them down with two strikeouts with the bases still loaded and continued to put up zeroes the rest of the game.
The Texas A&M-TCU game will start at 7pm CT at Olsen Field in College Station. I believe TCU will be the home team in this game, due to having been the visiting team fewer times during the tournament than A&M.
Game 4: Texas A&M 9, Louisiana 6
Updated Sunday, June 5th 2:35 PM CT
The Aggies secure a spot in the regional final. Texas A&M fights off a lethal offensive attack from the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and take a lead late in a warm College Station night.
Louisiana is currently playing TCU in an elimination game for the second spot in the regional final.
Last night's game started with bubbles all over Olsen Field as the Aggies stormed out to a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first off of five singles. However, Louisiana answered right back with four hits of their own including a two-RBI double from Heath Hood.
A&M's starting pitcher and their ace, Nathan Dettmer got unusually roughed up for 9 hits and 6 earned runs over 4.1 IP. Louisiana figured out quickly that A&M's bunt defense leaves a lot to be desired, as they bunted for a single and reached on two Aggie throwing errors from bunts.
Louisiana capitalized on a sloppy defensive night for A&M including one error in the bottom of the third and the Cajuns got out to an early lead on a double steal by Hood and Carson Roccaforte in that same inning. A&M had four errors, a balk, and a wild pitch in total.
Texas A&M's Jacob Palisch came on to relieve Dettmer and really settled things down, striking out 3 and allowing only four hits over 3 solid innings.
The Aggies finally responded in the last three innings, scoring four unanswered runs. Catcher Troy Claunch doubled home Ryan Targac for A&M's first extra base hit and then came home to score on a single by Brett Minnich to even the game. Then Austin Bost blasted this two-RBI bomb into the rec center over the left field wall to give A&M the lead.
Texas A&M now awaits the winner of the ongoing TCU-Louisiana game. The next game will be at 7pm CT.
Game 3: TCU 3, Oral Roberts 1
Updated Saturday, June 4th 3:30 PM CT
TCU staves off elimination for one more game and eliminates Oral Roberts in the process.
The Golden Eagles had runners all over the basepaths throughout the game, but couldn't push more than 1 run across. Credit Horned Frog pitching and defense limiting them to 0-7 with RISP and 2-14 with runners on base.
ORU manufactured a run in bottom 5th. Two singles and a walk had the bases loaded for the Golden Eagles, and the run came home on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Oral Roberts pitcher Isaac Coffey was impressive two times through the TCU lineup. He got pulled however after TCU took the lead in the 6th off of back-to-back solo shots to right and left field. Brayden Taylor deposited the ball well into the right field bleachers and on the very next pitch Kurtis Byrne decided to do the same over the left field wall.
Garrett Wright was sharp for 2.2 innings and shut down the Golden Eagles to earn the long save.
TCU now awaits the loser of the Texas A&M v. Louisiana game, which takes place at 6pm CT. The Horned Frogs' next game will be at 1pm CT on Sunday.
Game 2: Louisiana 7, TCU 6
Updated Friday, June 3rd 11:09 PM CT
#3 seed Louisiana knocks off #2 seed TCU to advance to the winners bracket game against host Texas A&M. TCU will face Oral Roberts in an elimination game. The Ragin' Cajuns decided they wanted to reunite their coach Matt Deggs with his former team instead of Schlossnagle with his. Deggs was an assistant coach for Texas A&M from 2006-2010.
This game was back and forth throughout and started with some electricity. Will Veillon (2RBI) and Trey Lafleur homered in back-to-back at bats in the 3rd to put Louisiana up 3-0.
TCU 3B Brayden Sacco waited a full inning, but brought the Horned Frogs within a run with his two-RBI homer in the 4th inning. The bottom of the 5th inning ended with TCU on top 4-3 on a two-RBI single by catcher Kurtis Byrne, a play that ended the inning as he was thrown out between 1st and 2nd.
The Cajuns were trying to get their action going on the basepaths in the 6th with a stolen base and another runner caught stealing. A walk and stolen base by Heath Hood put him in scoring position for an RBI-single into right field by Julian Brock. Then, CJ Willis tripled him home to put Louisiana back on top 5-4.
Ragin' Cajun right-hander Bo Bonds (W, 5-3) had the fastball working 91-94 and struck out 7 batters over 4.2 frames, saving some of Louisiana's bullpen, which they'll need to make it out of this regional.
Game one tomorrow between 2 seed TCU and 4 seed Oral Roberts will take place at 12pm CT in College Station. Texas A&M and Louisiana will face off at 6pm CT.
Game 1: Oral Roberts 2, Texas A&M 8
Updated Friday, June 3rd 5:08 PM CT
#1 Texas A&M beats #4 Oral Roberts to move into the winners bracket and face the winner of #2 TCU and #3 Louisiana tomorrow evening at 6pm CT. The second game of the day gets underway at 6pm CT at Olsen Field. ORU will face the loser of tonight's game tomorrow at 12pm CT.
After a quiet first inning, Oral Roberts got the scoring going in the 2nd with a Holden Breeze double down the left field line, followed by a bunt single and a throwing error by Aggie starter Micah Dallas off of another bunt scored Breeze. The Aggies got out of that inning with a hard hit ground ball turned into a double play by 3B Trevor Werner.
With two outs in the bottom of the frame and a runner on base, Texas A&M took the lead for good. A&M CF Jordan Thompson hit a fly ball that might have normally stayed in the park, but was helped a little by the wind and snuck over the left field wall to put the Aggies on top 2-1.
Dallas (W, 6-3) was the story for the Aggies. Even though he didn't have his best stuff today, he settled into a groove towards the end of his 5 innings. He seems to have found his rhythm late in the season after faltering in the middle of SEC play.
Through chants of "moo", Joseph "Moo" Menefee came in for Micah Dallas in the 6th and induced a ground out and two strikeouts and continued to stifle the Eagles for 3 innings with 7 Ks.
After some tense moments throughout, a big moment appeared in the bottom of the 7th and Austin Bost delivered a 415' bomb over the left field scoreboard, blowing this game open for the Aggies.
RBI double deep into the LF corner for ORU's Holden Breeze in the top of the 8th brought in Jackson Loftin from first after a single to make it 6-2.
A two-RBI double in the gap for Jack Moss in the bottom of the 8th gives A&M some insurance late and Brad Rudis came on in the 9th to close it out.
If the Horned Frogs were to win tonight, tomorrow's game would be the "Schloss Bowl", reuniting A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle with his former team.