Florida Gators CWS opponent preview: TCU Horned Frogs

OMAHA, Neb — You save the best for last, which is why the (3) Florida Gators and (6) TCU Horned Frogs will be the last of the four opening games this weekend at the College World Series.

The Gators have made three consecutive trips to Omaha, only TCU’s four consecutive trips bests that. Five National Seeds made the College World Series, but only two of them will face off during the first four games — TCU and Florida.

TCU has made a home in Omaha. Their eight seniors and one redshirt junior have finished every single one of their seasons at TCU at the College World Series. That’s the second most consecutive appearances by any school since Stanford went to five straight CWS (1999-2003) more than a decade ago.

This will be the first time TCU and Florida have ever faced off on a diamond. The two schools have appeared in the field of eight in four of TCU’s five total appearances, including twice (2010 and 2016) on the same side of the bracket but they have never played.

Last season the Frogs made it to the semifinals from the winner’s bracket and needed to win just one game against Costal Carolina in two tries. The eventual College World Series champion Chants wouldn’t stand for it, beating TCU twice to make it to the final.

“I don’t want to become the Buffalo Bills,” TCU manager Jim Schlossnagle said. “It’s something I’ve thought about. But it’s a lot different. We’re not going to play one game, like the Super Bowl. We’re going to play a tournament. Tournament baseball is so volatile. “Last year was bitter,” Wade said. “We put ourselves in a great position by winning the first two games. We’re in the driver’s seat, and then suddenly things just don’t fall our way. That’s not how it should have gone last year.”

GameDay information
Date: Sunday, June 18
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Field: TD Ameritrade
TV: ESPN2

TCU Quick Hits:
Manager: Jim Schlossnagle
Record: 46-16
Fifth overall CWS appearance, fourth consecutive.
Pitching staff set a school record with 593 strikeouts this season.
TCU has stolen 102 bases this season (10th in the nation).
Closer Durbin Feltman leads the nation with 17 saves this season.

Starting Pitcher Jared Janczak – 9-0, 1.97 ERA, 82.1 IP, 47 H, 22 R, 18 ER, 19 BB, 91 K

• First Team All-Big 12
• Third Team Collegiate Baseball All-American
• National Pitcher of the Week (March 20)
• Big 12 Pitcher of the Week (April 2)
• TCU is 29-9 in games he’s pitched during his career
• TCU is 12-1 in games he’s pitched this season
• Allows just 5.14 hits per 9 innings pitched, third best in the nation.

 

Probable starting nine:
No. 9 – C – Evan Skoug – (.277, 58 R, 67 H, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 3 SB)
No. 16 – 1B – Connor Wanhanen – (.273, 32 R, 33 H, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 10 SB)
No. 4 – 2B – Cam Warner – (.292, 50 R, 73 H, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 10 SB)
No. 3 – 3B – Elliott Barzilli – (.243, 40 R, 57 H, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 4 SB)
No. 5 – SS – Ryan Merrill – (.243, 39 R, 49 H, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 17 SB)
No. 7 – LF – Josh Watson – (.239, 32 R, 52 H, 1 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB)
No. 6 – CF – Nolan Brown – (.293, 49 R, 65 H, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 26 SB)
No. 8 – RF – Austin Wade – (.342, 52 R, 78 H, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 15 SB)
No. 10 – DH – Zach Humphreys – (.282, 23 R, 24 H, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB)

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC