Kervin's ninth-inning rally sparks TCU

Updated: June 3, 2006, 12:57 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- TCU got revenge for a tough regular-season loss to Oklahoma with some ninth-inning heroics of its own in the NCAA tournament.

Bryan Kervin capped a three-run ninth-inning rally with an RBI single to lift the Horned Frogs to a 6-5 win against top-seeded Oklahoma on Friday night, avenging a last at-bat loss to the Sooners less than two months ago.

Keith Conlon singled off Oklahoma starter Daniel McCutchen with one out to start the rally, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Corey Steglich drove in Conlon with a single to left and Ryan Pack's RBI double tied the game at 5.

Oklahoma closer Will Savage then relieved McCutchen (8-8) and yielded Kervin's single, which gave the fourth-seeded Horned Frogs (39-22) their 11th straight win.

The Frogs have gone 20-6 since they gave up two runs to Oklahoma in the ninth inning of a 12-11 loss on April 11 in Norman.

"It's amazing how the game of baseball gives you opportunities to redeem yourself," TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Who would have known that a month and a half later we would be right back in the same situation and things would go our way?"

McCutchen, who threw a career-high 138 pitches, gave up six runs on nine hits. He struck out 11 and walked four.

"I felt good," McCutchen said. "I felt in control. I left a couple balls up in the zone that they hit really hard. If I could go back I'd get the ball down and not leave it up in the zone."

TCU starter Jake Arrieta (14-4) gave up five runs on nine hits in 8 1-3 innings, and Sam Demel got the final two outs for his sixth save.

The Frogs' football team scored a similar upset last September with a 17-10 victory against the seventh-ranked Sooners in both teams' season opener.

TCU had lost four straight to Oklahoma (40-20), which hosted an NCAA regional in Norman for the first time since 1977 and drew 2,838 fans, its largest crowd since a 14-6 win against Texas on May 9, 1998.

After McCutchen gave the Horned Frogs an early lead, Oklahoma rallied back with five straight runs capped by Chuckie Caufield's solo home run in the seventh inning.

But McCutchen ran out of gas in the final frame.

"Daniel has been a warrior for us," Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said. "We've been hot and cold (with our pitching). We made the right decision."

McCutchen got past the middle of the Frogs' batting order before Conlon, who'd struck out twice earlier, singled in the No. 6 spot. McCutchen then struck out Andrew Walker to get within one out of victory before TCU's rally really got going.

"I thought McCutchen, especially when he got ahead, could really smell victory and he was impressive to watch," Schlossnagle said. "But I thought if we could keep getting guys to the plate you never know what could happen."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press