Texas Christian University has a history of championship-caliber baseball teams, but the Horned Frogs have only made it as far as the College World Series one time (2010). This year makes two.
TCU is one of a record-tying three Big 12 schools to advance to the final round of eight in the NCAA Baseball Championship. It came very close to being a record four teams, only Oklahoma State failed to make it out of its super regional series with UC Irvine.
The Horned Frogs come into the 2014 College World Series as winners of 32 of its past 36 games. To put it in a different perspective, coach Jim Schlossnagle’s team has lost just four times while winning 32 games since April 1. 2.
The Horned Frogs are 5-2 against CWS teams this season (mostly because of Texas and Texas Tech being among the eight participants).
For eight TCU players, advancing all the way to the College World Series is especially rewarding because they just missed making it to Omaha when they were all together in 2012 but lost back-to-back games at UCLA in the super regionals.
“The guys I’ve been here with, that’s all we’ve ever talked about,” said junior first baseman Kevin Cron, who was a member of that 2012 team and went two-for-five with a home run and two RBI in TCU’s deciding-game, super-regional win over Pepperdine on Monday this week. “I’m proud of my guys for hanging in there and staying tough.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” he said. “Everything we do is to lead up to this point.”
TCU starting pitchers Brandon Finnegan, Preston Morrison and Tyler Alexander have a combined won-lost record of 28-10 this season. The Horned Frogs’ bullpen has been equally as tough this postseason, not allowing a run in the last 28 2/3 innings.
Second baseman Garrett Crain and left fielder Boomer White lead TCU in hitting with .335 and .318 batting averages, respectively. In addition, White has 46 RBI and Cron is next with 40.
“Everybody know what his job is.,” Cron said. “Someone finds a way to get it done when it matters. We always give ourselves a chance to win.”
Ironically, TCU”s first game in the double-elimination CWS is against Big 12-rival Texas Tech, which beat the Horned Frogs twice in three games in the regular season. The Horned Frogs (47-16) and Red Raiders (45-19) will face off in the early game on Sunday afternoon.
The Texas Longhorns (43-19) are on the opposite side of the bracket in this year’s CWS. What this means is, it is possible that Texas could meet TCU or Texas Tech in the best-of-three championship series to decide the national champion in college baseball.
The three teams from the state of Texas in the 2014 CWS is just one shy of the most from a single state. California sent four teams (California, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State and Stanford) in 1988. Three California teams have appeared in the CWS three different times and Florida has sent three teams twice.