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Arkansas, TCU roll to College Classic sweeps

Horned Frogs named tourney champs based on run differential
Special to MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Arkansas, TCU and Louisiana-Lafayette took home wins during Sunday's Day 3 of the three-day Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at the Astros' Minute Maid Park.

TCU and Arkansas both finished the weekend 3-0, but TCU was named the tournament champion with a plus-25 run differential over Arkansas' plus-16 mark.

HOUSTON -- Arkansas, TCU and Louisiana-Lafayette took home wins during Sunday's Day 3 of the three-day Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at the Astros' Minute Maid Park.

TCU and Arkansas both finished the weekend 3-0, but TCU was named the tournament champion with a plus-25 run differential over Arkansas' plus-16 mark.

Arkansas shortstop Michael Bernal (Arkansas) was named Most Outstanding Player.

The remaining all-tournament team: C Tucker Pennell (Arkansas), 1B Joe Davis (Houston), 2B Michael Davis (Texas Tech), 3B Joe Robbins (UL Lafayette), OF Clark Eagan (Arkansas), OF Dane Steinhagen (TCU), OF Charlie Warren (Rice), DH Luken Baker (TCU), P Luken Baker (TCU), P Brian Howard (TCU), P Nick Lee (UL Lafayette), P Dominic Taccolini (Arkansas). 

The field for the 2017 College Classic March 3-5 at Minute Maid Park: Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech of the Big 12 and Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi of the SEC. 

Here is a breakdown of the Day 3 action:

Game 1 
Arkansas rallies to top Texas Tech

Spotting Texas Tech a five-run lead in the first inning wasn't going to deter Arkansas. Not the way the Razorbacks can hit and score.

The Razorbacks came back from an early deficit to beat the Red Raiders, 10-6, on Sunday in a game that took four hours and five minutes to complete.

"It was awesome to see a lot of guys contribute this weekend," said Arkansas third baseman Eagan, who homered and tripled in Sunday's win, the second straight game in which the Hogs scored double digits. "Everyone did their piece to help the team get a win each game."

Bernal's fourth-inning two-run home run was his third homer in the invitational. Bernal's two hits were part of a 12-hit attack for the Razorbacks (8-0), who for the second straight day used seven pitchers.

Jake Arledge reached base five times and Pennell had two doubles among his three hits for the Razorbacks, who scored four runs in the third to get within a run, and scored three times in the top of the fourth to go ahead 7-5.

"That's something about this team. We never feel like we're out of the game," Bernal said. "The next thing you know, we're up." 

Tanner Gardner reached base four times and collected two of the Red Raiders' 11 hits. Cory Raley and Michael Davis also had two hits each for Texas Tech (6-2), which won its first two games in the invitational.

After scoring five runs in the first, chasing Arkansas starter Keaton McKinney after only two-thirds of an inning, the Red Raiders managed only a fifth-inning run against six Arkansas relievers.

Cannon Chadwick (1-0), the Razorbacks' third pitcher, benefited from Arkansas scoring seven runs over the third and fourth innings, to gain the win. Hayden Howard (1-1), the second of seven Texas Tech pitchers, took the loss. 

Arkansas, which played in the College World Series last year, beat Rice, 5-2, on Friday and defeated Houston, 12-3, on Saturday, outscoring the opposition 27-11 at the College Classic, which is put on by the Astros.

Video: TCU@UH: Watson goes yard for big lead early

Game 2
TCU rolls past Houston

TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle isn't surprised his Horned Frogs won all three of its games in the College Classic, outscoring the opposition, 27-2. He is shocked in how decisive the winning margins were.

On Sunday, TCU blitzed Houston, 10-1, at Minute Maid Park following impressive wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice in the six-team invitational. TCU joined Arkansas as the only teams to go 3-0 over the weekend.

"You never expect that, because of the caliber of teams that you're playing here," Schlossnagle said. "Although I love our offense, you never expect something like that."

In handing Houston its third loss in as many games, the Horned Frogs (6-1) racked up 13 hits and their pitching limited the Cougars (4-3) to six hits, with 12 strikeouts.

Leading the Horned Frogs' onslaught was Josh Watson, Mason Hesse and Evan Skoug. Watson hit a three-run home run in TCU's five-run third inning, Hesse added three hits and two runs, and Skoug collected three hits with three runs.

Jared Janczak (1-1), who came into the game in the fifth in relief of starter Rex Hill, got the win. Houston starter Mitch Ullom (1-1) was unable to get out of the third inning and was tagged with the loss.

Despite falling behind, 5-1, Houston had the tying run at the plate with one out in the fifth with Joe Davis at the plate. Davis, who had four hits on Saturday in a loss to Arkansas, came up with the bases loaded. But Janczak struck out Davis, who went 0-for-4, and got Justin Montemayor to ground out to second to end the threat.

Earlier in the last of the fifth, Houston scored its lone run. Derek Dickerson led off with a double and came around on Jose Reyes' single. Connor Wong had two hits for the Cougars, who entered the weekend ranked 22nd in the nation.

"I know the quality of team that Houston has," Schlossnagle said. "One weekend isn't going to define our season and one weekend certainly is not going to define their season. I'm excited about how our guys performed, especially since we have such a young team and on this stage."

Video: UL@RU: Trosclair's two-run homer gives Cajuns lead

Game 3 
Louisiana-Lafayette tops Rice to close out Classic

Louisiana-Lafayette wasn't as successful as it was the last time the Ragin' Cajuns played baseball in Houston. A year after winning a regional at the University of Houston, the Ragin' Cajuns won only one of three games over the weekend at Minute Maid Park.

On Sunday, the Ragin' Cajuns defeated Rice, 4-2, to conclude the three-day 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic.

"We pitched good enough to win. We didn't swing the bat well throughout the weekend," Louisiana-Lafayette coach Tony Robichaux said. "Today, we got a big lick at the right time."

The big hit was a two-run home run in the eighth inning from Stefan Trosclair off Rice starter Blake Fox (0-2). The game was tied at 2 until Trosclair's homer broke the deadlock. Trosclair blasted the first pitch of the at-bat, high off the left-field wall, scoring Brenn Conrad, who reached first on a fielding error.

Trosclair, who drove in three runs, sat on a changeup and turned the game in the Ragin' Cajuns' favor. Robbins and Kyle Clement had two hits each for the Ragin' Cajuns (4-3). Rice (3-5), which managed only four hits, had RBI doubles from Dayne Wunderlich and Cody Staab. The Owls were winless in their three games at the College Classic.

Louisiana-Lafayette starter Lee (1-0) pitched seven effective innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Day 1 action

• Day 2 action

Complete College Classic schedule/results

Friday
Texas Tech 3, Houston 2
TCU 7, Louisiana-Lafayette 1
Arkansas 5, Rice 2

Saturday
Texas Tech 5, Louisiana-Lafayette 3 (10)
Arkansas 12, Houston 3
TCU 10, Rice 0

Sunday
Arkansas 10, Texas Tech 6
TCU 10, Houston 1
Louisiana-Lafayette at Rice

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com.

Houston Astros