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Robby Sunderman hit a three-run homerun against TCU, Dayton's first ever in an NCAA Tournament Game.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
The University of Dayton’s baseball team’s first trip to the NCAA tournament ended Saturday when the Flyers were eliminated by TCU 28-12.
TCU jumped out first with four runs in the top of the second, utilizing three straight bunts including a double squeeze by Brance Rivera that scored Jerrick Suiter from third and Zac Jordan from second. Dayton tied it in the bottom of the third, but TCU regained the lead on a two-run home run by Josh Elander.
The Flyers made it a 6-5 game when Brian Blasik drove in Jared Broughton in the fourth. A-10 tournament MVP Burny Mitchem replaced Flyer starter Tim Bury and set the Horned Frogs down in order in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Flyers took a 9-6 lead with four straight two-out hits.
A.J. Ryan and Zach Stewart started it off with singles, and then Broughton brought Ryan home with a single to left to tie it. Robby Sunderman took a 3-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Flyers their first NCAA tournament lead.
But that’s when UD’s season fell through a trap door. Two hit batsmen, two bloop singles and two errors opened the door to six runs in the top of the sixth inning. To add injury to injury, when Mitchem was lifted his replacement Parker Schrage cut his thumb leaving the bullpen. He tried to warm up but the thumb would not stop bleeding and he was removed from the game without facing a batter.
Without Schrage, the winning pitcher of last Saturday’s A-10 championship game, the Flyers were forced to turn to an already depleted pitching staff, and that opened the floodgates for TCU. UD’s next three pitchers – Tommy Konrad, Denton Sagerman and Matt Miller -- had not pitched since May 15, and the final Flyer pitcher, Trent Haughn was making his first appearance since April 24.
After taking the lead with seven runs in the sixth, TCU added six runs in the seventh and nine in the ninth.
Dayton closed out the scoring in the ninth, when Mike Coughlin singled to center, Stewart walked, and Broughton hit a three-run homer.
Blasik, Stewart and Broughton each led UD with two hits. Suiter led TCU, going five for six with three runs scored and three RBI. Justin Scharf got the win in relief, and Mitchem was charged with the loss.
Dayton finished the year 31-30, while TCU improves to 37-20 and will face the loser of Texas A&M/Ole Miss on Sunday.
The game was the final one in a Dayton uniform for the 10 Flyer seniors – Brian Blasik, Tim Bury, Mike Coughlin, Joe Gayda, C.J. Gillman, Bobby Glover, Michael Hauschild, Josh Jeffrey, Burny Mitchem and Zach Stewart. The Class of 2012 accounted for UD’s two Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championships, three 30-win seasons and of course the first NCAA tournament appearance in school history.