FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Pinch-hitter Elliott Barzilli had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning after TCU rallied from a late seven-run deficit in a 9-8 win over North Carolina State on Monday night to advance to the NCAA super regionals.
Evan Williams led off the 10th for TCU (47-12) with a pinch-hit single, advanced on an errant pickoff attempt by Curt Britt (3-1) and Jeremie Fagnan’s sacrifice bunt before Barzilli’s clean grounder through the right side of the infield.
N.C. State (36-23) had an 8-1 lead in the eighth after Jake Fincher had a two-run single off TCU closer Riley Ferrell, a likely high pick in next week’s amateur baseball draft, and two more runs scored on wild pitches by reliever Preston Guillory.
TCU scored six unearned runs in the bottom half, including runs on a bases-loaded walk, a balk and a passed ball, after second baseman Ryne Willard’s error to start the eighth.
Derek Odell led off the TCU ninth with a single, advanced on a sac fly and a balk before coming home a passed ball on a strikeout.
Brian Trieglaff (3-0), the fifth TCU pitcher, retired all six batters.
The Horned Frogs, who went to the College World Series last year, are in the super regionals for the fifth time in seven seasons, and be at home for the second year in a row. They play Texas A&M next weekend.
TCU comes back
Earlier this week, Texas Christian University Baseball Coach Jim Schlossnagle claimed his approach to the regional was to survive and advance. The Horned Frogs survived, with a little help from the North Carolina State defense, which committed 4 errors and 2 balks during the rally.
After NC State scored four runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning, TCU answered with 5 runs of their own, but NC State still led 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth. The Frogs started the inning with a single. After a bunt and a balk the tying run was at third. Then TCU scored the tying run on a dropped strikeout pitch.
The fans were at a fever pitch during the rally. The “woo-birds” were as active as ever and fans heckled Preston Palmerio, son of former Texas Ranger Rafael Palmerio with chants of “syringe”, a shot at his father’s steroid history.
Now the Horned Frogs will advance to the super regional to face Texas A&M, which will begin this Friday. – Will Bruner, Fort Worth Business Press