LSU celebrates a win over Tennessee in a baseball game at the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, June 20, 2023. (AP Photo/John Peterson)

Men’s College World Series Update: LSU and TCU Live To See Another Day

Two more teams have fallen in the Men’s College World Series. Now, only four remain.

Tuesday, the TCU Horned Frogs and LSU Tigers advanced to the Men’s College World Series semifinals. TCU knocked out the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in a 6-1 win, while LSU eliminated the Tennessee Volunteers in a 5-0 victory. The Horned Frogs and Tigers now join the Florida Gators and Wake Forest Demon Deacons as the final four teams standing in the MCWS.

TCU Standouts

Elijah Nunez, Cole Fontenelle and Kurtis Byrne each had multiple hits for the Horned Frogs on Tuesday afternoon. Fontenelle went 2-for-3 at the plate on the day, picking up two walks and scoring two runs along the way. Byrne finished the day with a double and an RBI, while Anthony Silva drove in two runs of his own in the fifth inning.

On the mound, TCU rode a combined effort from four pitchers to victory. Cam Brown got the start for the Horned Frogs, allowing one hit, three walks and zero runs through three innings. Luke Savage took over in the fourth inning and surrendered three hits, two walks and one run through 1.2 innings. Hunter Hodges and Cohen Feser combined to pitch the final 4.1 innings for TCU. The pair of relievers only gave up three hits, three walks and zero runs to finish the day off. Savage was subsequently awarded the win.

LSU Standouts

Meanwhile, Dylan Crews continued his stellar season for LSU. Crews went 2-for-4 and blasted out his 18th home run of the season to help LSU advance. Cade Beloso chipped in with a stellar offensive performance, as well. Beloso went 3-for-4 in the batter’s box and knocked in an RBI single in the first inning. Rounding out the Tigers’ offensive standouts, Tre’ Morgan finished with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate and scored two runs.

Nate Ackenhausen went on to pitch a phenomenal game for the Tigers. In his six innings on the mound, Ackenhausen only surrendered four hits, zero walks and zero runs while striking out seven Tennessee batters. Riley Cooper relieved Ackenhausen in the seventh inning and pitched the final three innings for LSU. He only allowed two hits, one walk and zero runs to complete the shutout.

Horned Frogs Ride Explosive Fifth Inning To Victory

Oral Roberts managed to stay close against TCU in the first four innings, only surrendering two runs early in the afternoon. Fontenelle scored on a bases-loaded walk in the second inning, while Byrne advanced home via a balk in the fourth inning. But in spite of the Horned Frogs’ limited offensive output early on, the Golden Eagles could not respond with any runs of their own.

TCU eventually found their rhythm in the batter’s box in the fifth inning. After a leadoff single from Nunez and a walk for Brayden Taylor, Fontenelle belted an RBI single into center field. Tre Richardson followed Fontenelle with a single into right field to load the bases for the Horned Frogs. Taylor subsequently scored on a sacrifice fly, while Fontenelle and Richardson made it home on a two-RBI knock from Silva.

From that point on, the Horned Frogs controlled the rest of the game. The Golden Eagles got one run back in the bottom of the fifth via an RBI single from Jonah Cox. Nevertheless, they were shut out for the rest of the afternoon, with TCU’s bullpen successfully keeping them in the drivers seat and ending Oral Roberts’ Cinderella run.

Tigers Dominate All Night Long

In the second game of the day, LSU got off to a strong start against Tennessee. Dylan Crews reached first base on a walk before advancing to second on a passed ball. He went on to score on an RBI single from Beluso.

The Tigers’ offense hit a bit of a snag in the following innings, as they failed to record any more runs for the next four innings. But while their hitting struggled, their pitching thrived. Ackenhausen dominated the Tennessee batters on the mound. He also only gave up one extra-base hit on the day (a two-out double in the fifth inning) and immediately forced a fly out in the subsequent at-bat to prevent any further damage.

With Ackenhausen still dealing on the mound, LSU finally managed to add insurance runs in the sixth inning. Morgan cracked a leadoff double into left field and scored on a Volunteers error in the next at-bat. Two innings later, Morgan scored yet another run for the Tigers, this time on a Tennessee wild pitch. At the end of the eighth inning, LSU held on to a 3-0 lead.

Josh Pearson led off the top of the ninth with a walk for the Tigers. Crews then hammered a home run into right field to drive in two more runs and essentially finish off the Volunteers. Tennessee went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, and LSU walked away with a 5-0 victory.

More Action On The Way

Despite their big wins to advance to the semifinals, TCU and LSU are both still on the brink of elimination. Wednesday, the Horned Frogs will take on the Gators at 2 p.m. Later in the day, the Tigers will face off against the Demon Deacons at 7 p.m. Florida and Wake Forest each need only one win to advance to the MCWS Finals, while TCU and LSU each need two wins to stay alive.

If either LSU or TCU survives their first matchup, they would return to the diamond on Thursday in a winner-take-all game against their respective bracket opponent. Whichever two teams remain standing after the semifinals will then advance to the Men’s College World Series Finals. The championship round will kick off on Saturday, with Game 1 set to start at 7 p.m.

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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