COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The eighth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team fell victim to the hot bats of TCU on Sunday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park as the Aggies were eliminated from the NCAA College Station Regional following a 10-2 loss to the Horned Frogs.
“To say there is a certain amount of disappointment with our team and our coaching staff would be an understatement,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We didn’t play good enough to win today. [Stefan] Crichton and TCU’s hitters didn’t allow us to do that. You have to have a great performance on the mound if you are going to try to come through the loser’s bracket and TCU did.”
Texas A&M finished its season with a 43-18 overall record, marking the 20th time in program history and the fifth time in seven seasons under the guidance of Childress the Aggies have won 40 or more games.
Additionally, 2012 marked the school-record sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for the program.
“First and foremost nobody’s expectations are higher than the coaches and the players,” Childress added. “There is no one more disappointed than the 27 players, the coaching staff and the support staff. This isn’t where are road was supposed to end, but it was a good journey. It was a good team to coach and a fun team to coach. They loved to compete, and they played hard for us all year long.”
Senior second baseman Scott Arthur, one of five Aggie seniors playing in their final game wearing the maroon and white, went 2-for-3 at the plate for A&M to notch his 10th multi-hit game of the year.
“It will be real tough,” Arthur said about taking off his A&M uniform for the final time. “When you wait this long to get the opportunity to play every day and then just like that it’s gone. It goes by quick and it’s going to be tough, but tomorrow is a new day.”
The Frogs struck first in Sunday’ contest by scoring an unearned run during the bottom of the first on a RBI single by third baseman Jantzen Witte. The TCU lead expanded to 2-0 in the next inning as center fielder Kyle Von Tungeln brought home a second run with a single to center. Both runs were unearned tallies against Texas A&M starter Rafeal Pineda, who lasted only two innings during his first start on the mound since May 19 at Oklahoma State.
Junior All-American right fielder Tyler Naquin got the Aggies on the board and tied the game during the top of the third as he followed hits by Jace Statum and Arthur with a two-run double to the right center gap.
The 2-2 tie did not last long; however, as TCU second baseman Derek Odell put the Horned Frogs back on top with a two-out, solo home run off A&M reliever Daniel Mengden (3-4). The score was one of six two-out runs for the Frogs during the contest.
TCU took complete control of the game by scoring three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, with the big hit coming in the form of a two-run long ball off the bat of first baseman Kevin Cron.
“When you only hang two zeros out of eight innings, that tells you TCU has things rolling offensively,” Childress said. “They are going to be a tough team tonight. They scored 28 runs yesterday and then today that carried over. They have momentum; that’s something we weren’t able to grab.”
The back-to-back big innings were more than enough support for TCU starter Stefan Crichton, who tossed his first complete game of the season. The right-hander limited the Aggies to just two runs on six hits during his 108-pitch outing.
The Frogs added an insurance run off Aggie reliever Jason Freeman in the bottom of the seventh to give the game its final score of 10-2.