The last national seed has been eliminated from the 2016 NCAA Baseball Tournament. No. 5 Texas Tech fell hard on Thursday night, 7-5, to Coastal Carolina, who will face off against TCU for the second time this week for a shot at the College World Series title.
With Tech's loss, this is the first year since the tournament's 1999 expansion that no national seed is among the last four teams.
The Chanticleers opened the night's scoring in the top of the second after Billy Cooke reached on a single then stole second. David Parrett came up two batters later and knocked a single to left to score Cooke, and Coastal could do no more. The Red Raiders answered in the bottom of the frame after Stephen Smith plated three off a blast to left center.
The top of the third saw a flurry of baserunning and error-filled fielding action, and when the dust settled three Chanticleers had crossed as unearned runs. The bottom of the inning featured a bases-loaded threat from Texas Tech, but Coastal closer Mike Morrison -- who came on in the midst of the rally -- pitched himself out of the jam by setting down two Red Raiders hitters.
Coastal really blew things open in the fifth frame, when Tech reliever Robert Dugger loaded the bases with one out. At that point Parker Mushinski spelled him, only to give up a sac fly and then a two-run single to Parrett, who only batted .141 on the year but had a heck of a Thursday night at the plate. After Parrett stole second and third, the Chants were feeling the rally.
With their pitching staff depleted by grueling outings against Florida and TCU, most thought it would be Coastal's bullpen that took a beating on Thursday. Instead, it was the Red Raiders who had to reach deep into the pen, sending four throwers to the hill by the top of the seventh. To be sure, Coastal's Mike Morrison carried the lion's share of mound duties for the Chants, and he's normally the staff's closer.
Even so, Morrison threw heroically for 4 1/3 innings on 83 pitches, but he finally got the ax after loading the bases and allowing two scores in the bottom of the seventh. Bobby Holmes then entered for the Chants and struck out the last batter of the frame, but suddenly Tech was back within striking distance, 7-5.
Tech closer Ryan Moseley was able to stem the Chants' scoring tied after coming on in the sixth, but Holmes' calm under fire avoided runs in the eighth and ninth despite allowing a handful of Red Raider baserunners.
Here's what the Group 2 bracket looks like after Thursday, via NCAA.com:
Oklahoma State and one-loss Arizona face off on Friday at 3 p.m. ET in Group 1 action, while TCU will face Coastal Carolina in a rematch of Tuesday's winners bracket showdown.