College World Series: TCU Extinguishes Oral Roberts’ Title Hopes

Oral Roberts’ Jacob Godman scores next to TCU catcher Karson Bowen during the fifth inning of a baseball game at the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 20, 2023. (AP Photo/John Peterson)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

OMAHA, Neb. – The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs remain alive in the 2023 College World Series after knocking off Oral Roberts University 6-1 in Tuesday afternoon’s elimination game. 

The Horned Frogs bullpen combined for six innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, five walks, and six strikeouts while facing 28 batters.

“Oral Roberts, as we know, leads the country in run differential from the seventh inning on, so they’re never out of a baseball game.,” said TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos. “And especially after Friday night being able to come back and secure the victory today was really awesome.”

In the top of the second inning, TCU got on the scoreboard first when right fielder Austin Davis drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring first baseman Cole Fontenelle for the first run of the game.

During the top of the fourth inning, the Horned Frogs got their second run of the game when Oral Roberts starting pitcher Brooks Fowler balked from the windup, sending designated hitter Kurtis Byrne in to score from third to put TCU went up 2-0.

Horned Frogs starting pitcher Cam Brown exited the game during the fourth inning as he threw three innings allowing one hit, walking three batters, and striking out three in his performance

The Horned Frogs offense would put up four runs in the top of the fifth , starting when Cole Fontenelle hit an RBI single to center field scoring Elijah Nunez for the third run of the game. A few batters later, designated hitter Kurtis Byrne lofted a sacrifice fly to right field and junior third baseman Brayden Taylor came in to score, extending the lead to 4-0.

The next batter, freshman shortstop Anthony Silva, singled to left field scoring junior second baseman Tre Richardson and Fontenelle to give the Horned Frogs a 6-0 lead.

“Throughout this whole season, we’ve probably been in every situation possible so we knew how to handle all of that. We practice every situation possible,” Horned Frogs shortstop Anthony Silva said. “That’s what we’ve been training all season long since the fall. And we just need to play our game, and that’s exactly what we did”.”

TCU relief pitchers Hunter Hodges and Cohen Feser showed great composure in the later innings for the Horned Frogs, combining for 4.1 innings and allowing three hits, no earned runs, three walks, and striking out four batters during Tuesday’s win.

Oral Roberts University, in their second appearance in Omaha at the College World Series, ended their historic season, the first where the Golden Eagles won 50 games, at Charles Schwab Field.

TCU’s hopes of their first national title remain intact. This is their sixth appearance at the College World Series. The TCU Horned Frogs will play the No. 2 program in the Nation University of Florida Gators on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN. 

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