TCU, tabbed the No. 6 national seed, is advancing to its fourth straight College World Series (2014, 15, 16, 17) and fifth in program history. TCU is the first team since North Carolina to advance to the CWS in four consecutive seasons (2006-09). Here are the notes heading into the College World Series:
- The league will have a representative in the CWS field for the fourth straight year.
- Since 2014, 89 percent of teams who advanced to Super Regionals also punched tickets to the College World Series (OSU, TCU, TTU, UT).
- The league looks for its first national champion since 2005 (Texas) and third overall.
- Last week, the Horned Frogs hosted a Super Regional for the third time in four years (2014, 15, 17). The Frogs were selected as a regional bid for the 13th time in the last 14 years.
- The Horned Frogs' side of the bracket features No. 3 national seed Florida, No. 7 national seed Louisville and Texas A&M. Should TCU advance out of bracket play, it will meet the winner of the top half of the bracket, featuring No. 1 overall seed Oregon State, No. 4 seed LSU, Cal State Fullerton and Florida State in the championship series.
- TCU is currently on a five-game winning streak and hasn't lost since May 27 in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship. The Horned Frogs are currently undefeated in NCAA postseason play.
- TCU looks for its first baseball national championship in 2017. Last season, TCU was one of the final four teams left in Omaha. The Horned Frogs fell to national champion Coastal Carolina in the semifinals.
- TCU swept a Super Regional for the first time in program history. In its previous four appearances, the Horned Frogs played a decisive game for a chance to go to Omaha.
- Brian Howard surpassed the 100 strikeout mark for the first time in his career. He is the first Horned Frog since Alex Young (103, 2015) to have over 100 (101) strikeouts in a season.
- Evan Skoug hit his 20th home run of the season and the 36th career home run. Skoug is the first Horned Frog since Chris Connally (23, 1997) to hit 20 home runs in a season.
- The Horned Frogs are coming off another strong regular season that saw them earn their second Big 12 regular season title. TCU has won a conference championship each of the last four years (2014, 2016 Tournament; 2015, 2017 Regular Season).
NCAA Tournament Results:
Sunday, June 11 - TCU 8, Missouri State 1 (NCAA Super Regional)
Brian Howard (11-3) was at his postseason best once again for the Horned Frogs. After allowing a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first, he held the vaunted Missouri State offense in check. On the night, he surrendered just four hits, walked two and struck out 11. TCU spotted Howard with a run in the top of the first on two out single from Cam Warner that plated Zach Humphreys. After Missouri State tied the game in the bottom of the first, TCU struck back in the second to regain a lead it would never relinquish.
Evan Skoug gave the Frogs breathing room with a two-run home run in the third inning. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to push the lead to four, 5-1. Barzilli's three-run blast in the ninth put the exclamation point on the victory. Sean Wymer came on in relief with one out in the eighth. He struck out four of the five batters he faced.
Saturday, June 10 - TCU 3, Missouri State 2 (NCAA Super Regional)
Missouri State opened the scoring with a solo home run to lead off the top of the second, but TCU responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-out run. The score stayed tied until the fifth when the Bears took advantage of a one-out double. With runners on the corners, Hunter Steinmetz dropped down a perfect bunt to give Missouri State a 2-1 lead. Jared Janczak navigated his way through base runners in four of his 6 1/3 innings of work. He finished the night, allowing a pair of runs on five hits with one walk and struck out 10. TCU was finally able to break through in the eighth. Skoug greeted the new MSU pitcher with a home run to right field to put the Frogs in front 3-2. Durbin Feltman came on and worked around a pair of base runners in the ninth. He got a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to lock up the victory. Sean Wymer (5-4) picked up the win in relief. He allowed just one base runner in 1 2/3 innings work.
Monday, June 5 - TCU 15, Dallas Baptist 3 (NCAA Regional)
Dallas Baptist jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-out home run from Matt Duce in the first, but a three-spot by the Frogs in the second sent the Frogs on the road to victory. A six spot in the third broke the game open as TCU took a 9-2 lead. Brian Howard (10-3) started for TCU and tossed 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just two runs on four hits, walked three and struck out three. Evan Skoug hit his 18th home run of the season, the most by any Horned Frog since Matt Curry hit 18 in 2010. He now has 34 career home runs, which is tied for fifth-most all-time in TCU history with Paul Gonzalez (1988-90).
Sunday, June 4 - TCU 5, Virginia 1 (NCAA Regional)
TCU opened up a 1-0 lead in the second inning as it made the most out of a lead-off double off the bat of Nolan Brown. Two errors and three hits in the third helped extend TCU's lead to 4-0. Virginia had base runners in each of the first five innings, but starter Jared Janczak limited the activity on the bases to just one runner. The Cavaliers picked up their lone run of the game in the eight after a lead-off double scored on a base hit with nobody out. The Frogs turned the second of two double plays to minimize the damage.
Saturday, June 3 - TCU 9, Central Connecticut State 6 (NCAA Regional)
Mitchell Traver (4-1) was brilliant in working through seven innings on the mound. He limited the Blue Devils to a run on one hit, walked two and struck out a season-high nine. TCU opened the scoring in the fifth. A two-out rally in the sixth extended TCU's lead to 3-0. After CCSU had gotten on the board in the eighth on a two-out double, TCU exploded for six runs in the bottom of the frame to make it a 9-1 game. The Blue Devils made a late comeback in the ninth, but Durbin Feltman came on and got a strikeout to seal the win.