FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas A&M was unable to prevail in Monday night's Super Regional rubber match at Lupton Stadium, dropping a 16-inning affair, 5-4, to the TCU Horned Frogs.
Texas A&M ended the season with a 50-14 record. The 50 wins ranks fifth on A&M's all-time annals.
In the 16th inning, Garrett Crain drew a 10-pitch walk to start the rally. Aggie reliever got the next two batters to fly out. He appeared to get out of the frame when Connor Wanhanen spun around on a 3-2 pitch, but he was deemed to have checked his swing to put two on. Evan Skoug followed by drilling a shot to the hot corner. Ronnie Gideon was able to get a glove on the ball to keep it from going to the outfield, but as he scrambled to recover it, Crain rounded third for home. Gideon retrieved the ball in plenty of time to retire Crain, but threw to the plate was errant allowing the winning run to score.
The Aggies needed a ninth-inning rally to send the game to extra frames. Trailing 4-2, Michael Barash was hit by a pitch and Blake Allemand and Nick Choruby drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Mitchell Nau and Logan Taylor each plated runs with ground outs to tie the game at 4-4.
Texas A&M drew first blood in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Barash deposited a 2-1 offering over the fence down the leftfield line for a solo home run, his second dinger of the season.
After going hitless for the first four frames, TCU (49-13) broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the fifth inning. Evan Skoug was issued a walk looking at a 3-1 pitch in the zone and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Skoug advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Derek Odell threaded a single through the left side of the infield. Keaton Jones followed by gapping a first-pitch offering to left-center for an RBI double, staking TCU to a 2-1 advantage.
The Horned Frogs added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Cody Jones worked a four-pitch walk to chase A&M starter Tyler Stubblefield from the contest. Aggie reliever Andrew Vinson induced a grounder in front of the plate to retire Jeremie Fagnan, but Connor Wanhanen followed by hitting a 1-1 pitch over the rightfield fence for a two-run home run, inflating the TCU cushion to 4-1.
Nick Banks trimmed a run off the Horned Frogs' lead with a leadoff home run in the top of the eighth.
The Aggies were doomed by 17 players left on base, including six in the first three innings. A&M had bases loaded with one out in the first inning and two runners in scoring position with one out in the third inning and were unable to manufacture runs in the two frames.
Tyler Stubblefield worked 5.0 innings, plus one batter in the sixth, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out five. Mark Ecker worked 4.0 scoreless innings, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out two in 4.0 innings. Hendrix (6-4) was the hard-luck loser for the Aggies. He yielded one unearned run on five hits while striking out five in 4.2 inning.
TCU starter Alex Young worked 6.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks while striking out 10 in 6.2 innings. Mitchell Traver (9-2) earned the win with 4.0 innings of hitless relief with two walks and six strikeouts.