PHOTO / STORY COURTESY: LSUSPORTS.NET
OMAHA, Neb. — TCU broke a scoreless tie with two unearned runs lead in the fourth inning then used the momentum to put the Tigers in the College World Series loser’s bracket with a pair of four-run frames on Sunday afternoon, 10-3, at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
LSU (53-11), which committed a season-high four errors, will face the loser of tonight’s Vanderbilt versus Cal State Fullerton game on Tuesday at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
TCU (50-13) will take on the winner of the Commodores and Titans in the winner’s bracket at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
“It’s amazing, I’ve been in this game for a long time, and sometimes you see things you haven’t seen all year, or for years,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We just had a couple of missed plays there, and they got clutch hits, and things just kind of spiraled out of control for us.
“So, what we’re going to do is regroup. We have a practice day tomorrow. We’ll get ready to play again on Tuesday, whoever we play, whether it’s Vanderbilt of Fullerton. We’ll regain our composure and our poise and confidence, most importantly, and get ready to play on Tuesday. We know we’re a much better team than what we demonstrated today.”
In the bottom of the third, the Tigers looked to get an early lead when Jared Foster singled to left, stole second and tried to score on a single to shallow center field by Jake Fraley. However, Foster was thrown out at home plate on a perfect throw from TCU centerfielder Cody Jones and a block of home plate by catcher Evan Skoug.
After retiring the first nine Horned Frogs he faced, LSU starter Jared Poche’ (9-2) put himself in a jam in the fourth by committing two throwing errors. Both runs came around to score on singles by Connor Wanhanen and Dane Steinhagen to give TCU a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers fought back with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Bregman and Kade Scivicque each singled to start the inning, and both advanced on a groundout by Conner Hale. Bregman scored on another groundout by Andrew Stevenson to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fifth, Poche’ loaded the pases with a pair of walks and a single. With the infield in, Hale was unable to handle a hard grounder at third base and TCU’s third run scored.
Poche’ hit the next batter with the bases loaded and was lifted after giving up a two-run single to Wanhanen. TCU led 6-1.
The Horned Frogs added four more runs on four hits in the top of the seventh off three Tigers relievers to push the advantage to 10-1.
Meanwhile, after giving up five hits in the first three innings, TCU starter Preston Morrison (12-3) kept the Tigers off balance, sitting down 12 straight batters from the fourth through seventh innings before leaving the game with a nine-run lead.
With one out in the eighth inning, Foster broke a streak of 13 outs with a solo home run to left field off TCU reliever Brian Howard. With two outs, the Tigers manufactured another run when Fraley walked, moved to second on an infield single by Bregman, and to third on a wild pitch. A single by Scivicque plated Fraley, but Hale grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat.
The Tigers used a CWS record-tying eight pitchers in the contest. The start of the game was delayed 31 minutes due to lightning in the area.