Game one was... an anomaly. The LSU defense, which hadn't been superb but was far from subpar, was terrible Sunday. And the Frogs, who are by no means a juggernaut on offense, did what they have done so well all season long - took advantage of a few key errors to turn extra bases in to runs by the bunches. Tonight, these two teams will face off once again - one shade of purple off a dramatic walk off win against Fullerton, the other shade possibly reeling from a dramatic, one run loss that saw them shutout for the first time in almost three seasons.
Despite the heated competition between the lines, it was a Tiger who crossed the chalk to find a common ground ahead of tonight's elimination competition:
But while there may be mutual respect across the dugouts and a common thread throughout the game, these remain two teams that want to absolutely beat the snot out of each other tonight. LSU, who feels that they gave the game away Sunday, and the Frogs, who feel short-changed after their offense sputtered Tuesday, both come to the park knowing that you win, or you go home. Neither team is quite ready to do the latter.
TCU will turn to their battle tested future ace, Mitchell Traver, who's experience rests less on what he has done on the mound and more on what he has been through to have the chance to be there tonight. Fresh off of holding a potent Aggie offense to... well, we won't say it, of course... Traver went 4.0 innings for the win, striking out six and walking two as he pitched deep in to the night, and early the next morning. LSU will turn to lefty Zac Person, who has only started two games and pitched 29.2 innings, but has been a lively, quality arm for the Tigers and should hold an immediate advantage over the TCU lineup the first time through, as they have shown the propensity to struggle against lefties until they adjust in round two.
Tonight's game will see both managers lay it all on the line... when you are playing for your season, nothing is off limits. It will be interesting to see if we get a chess match as the innings stretch on, especially in a one or two run game. I doubt we will see more than 4-5 innings from Person, and the Tigers will likely try and mix and match for every offensive advantage from a TCU team that struggled to put much together Tuesday. For Schloss, he has every arm available (outside of Morrison and Young), and the depth of arms to leave tomorrow's worries for tomorrow. For TCU's seniors - Cody Jones, Keaton Jones, Derek Odell, Garrett Crain, and Jeremy Fagnan in the field, Trey Teakell, Travis Evans, and Preston Morrison in the pen - the chance to play another day looms large. The theme of the season has been "No End in Sight" - and for the Frogs, a win tonight, keeps that dream alive for at least one more day.
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