FORT WORTH – The trio of Brandon Finnegan, Trey Teakell and Riley Ferrell helped TCU to a game one, 3-2 victory over Pepperdine in the NCAA Super Regional Saturday afternoon. Derek Odell led the offense with two hits and two RBIs.
Finnegan (9-3) was masterful through 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out seven. Trey Teakell pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a pair of hits. Riley Ferrell struck out four of the five batters he faced to pick up his 15th save of the season.
TCU showed early it had the bats going but strong defensive plays by the Waves kept the Frogs off the scoreboard. The Frogs had four hits in the second inning, but made two outs at third.
Pepperdine had few offensive opportunities in the early innings despite getting the lead-off man on in three of the first five innings. Finnegan worked around the lead-off base runners, retiring the next three he faced to end each inning. The Waves had a pair of two-out base runners in the third stranded when Finnegan fanned Aaron Brown to end the frame.
The Frogs threatened again in the third as they loaded the bases on
two hits and a walk. Waves’ starter Corey Miller (9-5) wiggled off the hook with an infield fly and a long fly ball.
Miller wouldn’t escape in the fourth as the Frogs finally capitalized to take a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Keaton Jones lined a single into left to get things started. Kyle Bacak followed with a base hit and Cody Jones was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Odell cashed in on the RBI opportunity as he lined a single just over the leaping third baseman to drive in two.
TCU added to its lead in the fifth as it took advantage of a lead-off walk to Kevin Cron. Garrett Crain followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners. With one out, Dylan Fitzgerald reached on a fielder’s choice to push the lead to 3-0.
Pepperdine began to mount a rally in the seventh after a one-out walk to Hutton Moyer. Chris Fornaci launched his second home run of the season over the left field fence to pull the Waves within one, 3-2. Teakell came on and got the final two outs of the inning to keep the lead in tact.
More trouble awaited the Frogs in the eighth as the Waves got the first two batters on. Brown sacrificed the runners into scoring position with one out, prompting another pitching change. Ferrell did his job as he fanned Brad Anderson for the second out then got Aaron Barnett to ground out to end the inning.
Ferrell made quick work of the ninth inning, striking out the side to close out the game.
With the win, TCU improves to 46-15 overall. The Frogs will play for a berth in the College World Series Sunday night beginning at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. TCU needs to win just one more game to earn its second-ever berth in the College World Series.