TCU pitcher Brian Howard fanned 12 over seven-plus innings Tuesday, leading sixth-ranked TCU to a 4-1 win Tuesday over Texas A&M in an elimination game of the College World Series. Photo courtesy of TCU Baseball/Twitter
Brian Howard fanned 12 over seven-plus innings Tuesday, leading sixth-ranked TCU to a 4-1 win Tuesday over Texas A&M in an elimination game of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
With the win, the Horned Frogs (48-17) advance to another elimination game Thursday night against the loser of the Florida-Louisville game. Those teams play Tuesday night in a winner's bracket contest.
Howard (12-3) allowed five hits and a run, departing after a leadoff double in the eighth by George Janca. Sean Wymer relieved Howard and retired all six batters he faced for his second save. Wymer pitched seven perfect innings in his appearances this year against the Aggies.
Stephen Kolek (4-5) lasted only 2 2/3 innings for Texas A&M (41-23), permitting four hits and four runs, three of them earned. Kolek walked two and struck out two.
Reliever Kaylor Chafin kept the Aggies in contention by pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings, yielding just three hits and fanning six. But A&M was overpowered by Howard, who tied a TD Ameritrade Park record for most strikeouts in a CWS game.
TCU initiated the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Nolan Brown led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout to short by Elliott Barzilli and scored on Connor Wanhanen's infield out.
Ninth-place hitter Ryan Merrill started a three-run third with his sixth homer of the year, a solo shot to right. One out later, Evan Skoug made it 3-0 with an RBI double that scored Zach Humphreys, who was hit by a pitch, from first base. A two-out error led to Barzilli's RBI single that capped the rally and knocked out Kolek.
The Aggies' only run came in the sixth when Braden Shewmake's groundout to second scored Austin Homan.
It was the third straight year that Texas A&M's season ended with a defeat to the Horned Frogs.