Coach Melissa and Swayze coming to you here from the secret Frogs O'War lab deep in the bowels of Amon G Carter. Instead of doing our normal post-game write up, we decided to do things a little differently for the Frog's second game of College World Series play, and the second match-up against Vanderbilt this year, and present a running diary. So, with first pitch just moments away... here we go.
Coach: (top first) Ro Coleman has the smallest strike zone in the NCAA... but Alex Young manages to strike him out anyway. Good start for Young, who goes K, pop out, fly out to open and seems in control of the zone.
Swayze: What a play by Cody Jones. Dansby Swanson ripped one to short center with two outs and he charges to make the catch for the final out.
Coach: As good as he has been on the basepaths, how great has CoJo been on defense through the postseason? He will make it at the next level between his speed and his defense alone.
Swayze: A great example of that was him gunning down LSU at the plate from center on Sunday. Huge momentum swing for the Frogs.
Swayze: (bottom first) This Pfeifer kid opened it up with a 94 mph fastball. He usually lives around 91 so he is amped. Has his slider and curveball working well too so far.
Coach: Frogs force Pfeifer to throw 17 pitches, which is probably the best part of their at bats - and he was amped. Works to get him a couple Ks, but the pitch count is already really high.
Swayze: (top second) Wow. Young just went three up three down in the second inning with three straight Ks. He has four so far.
Coach: Man, Young is dealing. And the pitch count is staying low. Great start for the Frog lefty.
Swayze: That last one was a dropped third strike that got away from Skoug, but Fagnan came up with a great pick to get the last out.
Swayze: (bottom second) TCU does not manage a base runner as they go three up three down as well. Pfeifer had to throw another 17 pitches in that inning though. Now at 34 pitches.
Coach: Frogs are making Pfeifer work, but can't break through to string anything together so far. Need to keep working the cut, and it will pay off eventually.
Coach: (top third) Are we worried that Skoug is starting to wear down? Drops a third strike again, preventing the out. Lot of games on the freshman's legs. Then Young has a poor throw to first resulting in an error. Young will need to work out of trouble for the first time this game. Bases loaded on a just barely missed ball four to Ro Coleman... and Young procedes to strike out Rhett Wiseman and #1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson to end the threat. Wow... this is what Marshall was talking about earlier... TCU made mistakes, and gave Vandy a huge door to walk through. But the Frogs buckled down and made it out unscathed. It's nice to get the errors and the breaks, but it's up to the team to take advantage of them.
Swayze: That was a HUGE strikeout. Young has seven Ks through three innings now. II think Skoug is definitely worn out. That kid has gone through so much emotionally throughout the tournament. Mentally too, this is probably the biggest game of his life. He is a gamer though. Now that he got bailed out of that one I expect him to pull it together.
Coach: (top fourth) Young strikes out two in the frame and gets a pop up to end it. He is straight dealing. Frogs could use a little offensive action to take the pressure off, but have to love playing behind a guy who is pitching lights out right now.
Swayze: Both teams had really good chances in that third inning as Vandy had the bases loaded with one out and the Frogs had runners on second and third with two outs. Neither has been able to overcome the outstanding pitching on both sides thus far, but we've got a heck of a ballgame.
Coach: (top fifth) Pfeifer has been great, but TCU needs to take advantage of a guy not used to going deep in to the game at some point. With 68 pitches heading in to the bottom half, this would be as good a time as any.
Swayze: (bottom fifth) Young has 11 strikeouts now through 5 innings. That is a new career high for him surpassing the 10 he had last Monday against A&M. Skoug continues to have trouble with the dropped third strikes, but it hasn't hurt us yet. You have to think that the high pitch count will catch up with Pfeifer soon.
Coach: TCU hasn't been able to make Pfeifer pay, but he's pitched himself out of several jams. Two good teams, not willing to give an inch. Young backto the rubber as we head to the sixth.
Swayze: (top sixth) Young started off the inning with another K then got a ground out and a fly out. Vanderbilt can't handle his slider today. 10 of his 12 Ks have been on sliders.
Coach: Young has struck out the lead off hitter in each of the six innings, and has felled 11 of the 12 swinging.
Swayze: (top seventh) The Frogs had another opportunity in B6 that they couldn't cash in on. Wanhanan was on second with two outs and Odell couldn't come up with the hit. Vandy finally figured out Young's slider and just opened up the seventh by giving up a homer.
Coach: No hitter, shutout, and lead, all gone in one swing. Young gets the second batter, but a 1-0 lead feels almost insurmountable at this point. Another hit has Vandy back in business, and a bunt moves him into scoring position. Two down, and Young has a chance to stop the bleeding. A grounder to second ends the threat, but the Frogs will face a deficit for the first time in Omaha, as we head to the seventh inning stretch trailing 1-0.
Swayze: Those wasted opportunities with RISP really hurt now.
Coach: (bottom seventh) lead-off runner on, as Keaton reaches on an infield single and advances on a poor throw. Brown flies out to left center, and thought the Vandy outfielders run in to each other, the catch is made. Crain strikes out for the second out of the frame, and Keaton is stuck at second. Cody Jones comes up with two gone, but hits it to second base. Frogs get a man in scoring position with nobody out, but can't advance the runner. Pfeifer up over 100 pitches, but doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Swayze: (top eighth) To this point we have been able to hold the Vandy offense in check. They only have two hits through seven, but that home run looms large as the difference in the game. The Frogs just can't catch a break. At one point in the seventh, with Keeton on second and one out, two Vandy outfielders ran into each other going after a fly ball and still made the catch. TCU is 0-8 with RISP. Young is coming back out to start the eighth.
Swayze: Young gets a pop out and a groundout to begin the eighth. With two outs Young surrendered a double and Teakell came on to face Dansby Swanson. Teakell wastes no time and strikes him out on an 0-2 count.
Coach: Let's talk about jinxes. Kaylee Hartung asked Schloss about it in the sixth, and Karl Ravech defended it after Young lost his no-hitter/shut-out/lead all in one swing the next inning. Whether you believe in jinxes or not, asking a baseball manager about it, in the middle of the game, is so disrespectful in my mind. It doesn't matter what you think in that situation, respect the guys between the lines. Schloss was obviously not happy to be asked, and while we know it doesn't really affect the outcome of the game, it matters to the guys on the field. So leave it be and respect what matters to them.
Swayze: There is no way to say that better Coach. Reporters have to do their jobs and we obviously respect that, but this is baseball and you don't talk about a no-no.
Swayze: (bottom eighth) After two strikeouts Skoug drew a walk and Evan Williams, pinch hitting for Steinhagen, got a hit to put two on with two outs. Odell had another chance to be the hero but once again he couldn't come up with the hit and grounded out to the pitcher.
Coach: (top ninth) Teakell comes in and does his job. He gets out of trouble in the eighth with a punch out, and strikes out one in the ninth - and along with some good defense from Garrett Crain - stays out of trouble. The Frogs will have one frame left to get some Lupton Magic going in Omaha.
Swayze: (bottom ninth) TCU went groundout, strikeout, strikeout in the ninth. Frogs lost 1-0. Amazing pitching on both sides in this game, but TCU's inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position ends up being too much to overcome. This was the first time that TCU has been shut out all season.
For TCU, the road to the championship series gets a little longer, but it is a familiar road. The Frogs came through the loser's bracket in the Regionals, fought back from a close loss in game two against A&M in the Supers, and will now have to beat LSU again to keep their CWS hopes alive. The Frogs will have both Mitchell Traver and Tyler Alexander available for a Thursday night start, and either guy is capable of coming up big with the season on the line. TCU will face LSU, who is coming off of a dramatic win in an elimination game against Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers, who felt they gave the game away Sunday, will certainly come ready to play and with a chip on their shoulder. The Frogs will need to bounce back in a big way from a gut wrenching loss.
This is the stuff that heroes and legends are made of. Fight ‘em ‘till Hell freezes over, and then fight ‘em on the ice.