TCU Reaches Bracket Final; Top Seed Florida Eliminated
Freshman Luken Baker homered for the second time in the College World Series and TCU advanced to the bracket championship with a 6-1 win over Coastal Carolina in a winners' bracket game in the College World Series in Omaha Tuesday night.
Baker's homer, his seventh during a 13-game hitting streak, came against Chanticleers' starter Alex Cunningham (9-4) leading off the second inning. The Horned Frogs (49-16) took advantage of some free base runners in the fifth to extend their lead. A single, an error on a potential double play ball and a walk loaded the bases with none out. Another walk gave TCU a 2-0 lead. A force out scored the second run of the inning. TCU extended its lead in the sixth with a run scoring on a double play ground ball. TCU got two more in the ninth on an RBI triple by Michael Landestoy and a throwing error.
TCU starter Brian Howard (10-2) kept the Chanticleers (50-17) off the scoreboard until the sixth, when Michael Paez scored on a two out single by G. K. Young. Howard went 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts, throwing 101 pitches.Lefty Ryan Burnett got out of a two out, two on jam to end the sixth and shut out Coastal the rest of the way for his first save of the season.
In the elimination game, Florida became the third #1 seed to go two and out at the College World Series as the Gators (52-16) fell to #5 Texas Tech, 3-2.
Red Raiders' first baseman Eric Gutierrez gave Tech a two run lead in the fourth inning with a homer off Florida starter Alex Faedo (13-3). The Raiders added an important insurance run in the ninth when Tyler Neslony scored after third baseman Jonathan India and first baseman Pete Alonzo made errors on the same play.
Freshman Davis Martin (10-1) sparkled on the mound for the Raiders, allowing just three hits over seven innings. He was helped by three double plays and two stellar outfield catches.
Florida tried to come back in the ninth against reliever Hayden Howard on a two run homer by Alonzo to narrow the score to 3-2. India singled with two out, but Neslony threw India out trying to stretch the hit into a double to end the game.
Florida's loss eliminated the last Southeastern Conference team from the postseason. Despite seven host sites and four national seeds the SEC finished just 19-17 in the postseason.
Texas Tech (47-19) will take on Coastal Carolina in an elimination game Thursday night at 7pm.