CWS Game 9 Recap: TCU uses late rally to eliminate FSU

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

TCU Baseball OMAHA – TCU overcame a late four-run deficit and came back to defeat the Florida State Seminoles 11-7 on the strength of Matt Curry’s eighth-inning grand slam in Game 9 of the Men’s College World Series, Wednesday at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Florida State broke out early as Sherman Johnson and Mike McGee hit back-to-back solo home runs off TCU starter Steven Maxwell to give the Seminoles a quick 2-0 lead. Maxwell avoided further damage by getting Jayce Boyd to ground out after Stephen Cardullo singled and stole second. The Seminoles left with a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

TCU jumped back into the game, taking advantage of a Seminole error and a Brance Rivera single to put runners on the corners to start the third inning. FSU starter John Gast overthrew first base on a pickoff attempt, allowing Aaron Schultz to score and moving Rivera to third base.

One out later, Bryan Holaday grounded to Gast, who alertly got Rivera out trying to score for the second out. Holaday advanced to second on the play and would score on a Matt Curry single to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the third inning, the Seminoles’ James Ramsey came up with a clutch two-out RBI triple down the right field line that would give the Seminoles a 3-2 lead.

FSU would recapture its two-run lead as Cardullo drove in Ramsey on the next play. Maxwell’s errant pickoff throw allowed Cardullo to move over to third base. Tyler Lockwood was brought into the game and retired the final batter to keep the Seminole lead to 4-2 after three innings of play.

With two runners in scoring position and one out in the fifth, Ramsey was intentionally walked to load the bases. Cardullo would drive in another run for the Seminoles on a sacrifice fly to right field that gave Florida State a 5-2 lead with two outs. Boyd extended the lead for the Seminoles, driving a two-run double to centerfield that pushed the FSU lead to 7-2 after five innings.

After being shut out in three straight innings, the Horned Frogs cut into the Seminoles lead in the seventh inning when Jerome Pena hit a solo home run to right field, trimming the lead to 7-3.

The Horned Frogs would put together another rally in the eighth with runners on the corners and one out. TCU cut the lead to 7-4 on a fielder’s choice, scoring the run from third. Holaday would come up representing the tying run and hit an RBI double to the left field wall that cut the lead to 7-5 and put two runners in scoring position.

After a walk loaded the bases with two outs, Curry took a 3-2 pitch and hit a grand slam to straight away center field. The Horned Frogs did not let up as Jantzen Witte hit a two-run home run to left field which completed an eight-run inning for TCU. After the inning was over the Horned Frogs had gone from a four-run deficit to an 11-7 lead.

The Seminoles quickly responded in the bottom half of the eighth inning with a pair of singles followed by a one out walk that loaded the bases. The Seminoles couldn’t make the late inning rally pay off as they stranded the bases loaded and left the eighth inning still trailing by four runs. Horned Frogs reliever Caleb Merck sat down the Seminoles in the ninth inning to cap an 11-7 comeback win.

TCU improves their record to 2-1 in the tournament and 53-13 on the season. Florida State finished 1-2 at the series and had an overall season record of 48-20. The Horned Frogs will take on UCLA Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT.