NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 13 Sooners held a 5-3 advantage till the ninth inning when TCU rallied for three runs to record a 6-5 victory in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Norman Regional at L. Dale Mitchell Park in front of season-high crowd of 2,838 fans.
Bryan Kervin (2-or-5, RBI) singled to right field for TCU, with two outs in the ninth, and Ryan Pack (2-for-4, RBI) on second base and OU rightfielder threw a strike to home plate, but the go-ahead run crossed the plate underneath the tag of catcher Jackson Williams.
OU ace Daniel McCutchen (8-8) was solid for 8 2/3 innings but allowed all six runs despite striking out 11 batters. It marked the sixth time time this season that the senior from Norman, who moved into sole possession of sixth place on OU's career strikeouts list with 277, fanned 10 or more batters in a single game.
TCU's Jake Arrieta, who entered the game tied for the nation's lead in wins, lasted 8 1/3 innings to improve to 14-4. Arrieta struck out eight Sooners and only walked one.
The Frogs snapped a four-game losing streak to the Sooners and took an early 3-0 lead after 4.5 innings.
OU made its move in the bottom of the fifth frame with four unearned runs, three of which came with two outs. In the fifth inning, Kevin Smith plated the go-ahead run in the person of Ryan Rohlinger, who brought in two runs in the previous at-bat.
Caufield homered to lead off the seventh frame, his fourth longball in his NCAA Tournament career, and increased the lead to 5-3 and finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Smith and Williams also finished the contest with two hits apiece.
McCutchen and the Sooners held the lead for most of the contest, but were unable to record their 19th comeback victory of the season.
Williams led off the ninth with a single and was quickly moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Joseph Hughes. The following two batters, Caufield and Russell Raley, flied out to end the ball game.
With the loss, OU dropped to 40-20 this season and TCU improved to 39-21. The win marked the first for TCU when trailing after eight innings this season.
The Sooners will resume play in the NCAA Tournament against Houston (39-21) at 1 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park in an elimination game. OU's Steven Guerra (10-3) is expected to take the mound against UH's Ricky Hargrove (8-5).
The game will be webcast live on SoonerSports.com with live audio and live stats. It can also be heard on KOKC 1520 AM.