SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Derek Odell had a two-run single, ace Brandon Finnegan took a shutout into the seventh inning and TCU beat Pepperdine 3-2 Saturday in the first super regional game at home for the Horned Frogs.
Finnegan (9-3), the 17th overall pick by Kansas City earlier in the week, was cruising with a two-hitter when he walked Hutton Moyer and Chris Fornaci knocked him out of the game with a two-run homer in the seventh to get the Waves (42-17) within a run.
TCU closer Riley Ferrell pitched 1 2/3 innings for his 15th save, starting with a strikeout of Brad Anderson and a groundout from Pepperdine’s leading hitter, Aaron Barnett, with runners at second and third in the eighth inning.
Ferrell struck out the side in the ninth to put the Horned Frogs (46-15), the No. 7 national seed, in front in the best-of-3 series. They will try to secure their second trip to the College World Series on Sunday.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Odell sent a line drive over the glove of leaping third baseman Austin Davidson to score Keaton Jones and Kyle Bacak. Kevin Cron scored the decisive run on a fielder’s choice from Dylan Fitzgerald in the fifth.
Pepperdine starter Corey Miller (9-5) gave up a season-high 10 hits in the first five innings against the Horned Frogs, who are in their fourth super regional in the past six years. Miller also walked four and hit a batter in 5 1/3 innings.
The Waves are in their first super regional since the format was adopted 15 years ago. They won the 1992 national title when coach Steve Rodriguez was a player.
Aaron Brown, Pepperdine’s leader in home runs and top draft pick as a third-rounder to Philadelphia, had a sacrifice bunt to move up Anderson and Barnett before Ferrell came on. He struck out with two runners on and two outs in a scoreless tie in the third inning.
Brown also leads the Waves with 12 wins as a left-handed starter and will be on the mound in Game 2.