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Baker, TCU Blast Aggies 8-2 in Game One of Super Regional

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The Frogs jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third and never looked back as they took game one of the Super Regional series in College Station.

Janczak and Skoug, along with Luken Baker set the tone tonight for TCU's win over Texas A&M
Janczak and Skoug, along with Luken Baker set the tone tonight for TCU's win over Texas A&M
Melissa Triebwasser

Early on the Aggies, and the crowd at Blue Bell Park, were looking rowdy and dangerous. After all the hype leading up to this series, the pressure seemed to get to both teams a little bit in the first. An error by Texas A&M turned a would-be double play into a two-run lead for TCU in the top of the first after the Horned Frogs loaded the bases with one out. In the bottom of that inning, the raucous A&M crowd appeared to have Janczak feeling uneazy after he gave up a two-out double that evened things up at 2-2. But after that, Janczak settled into a brilliant performance and Luken Baker and the rest of the Frogs lineup put on a show in College Station.

The way that Texas A&M came roaring back in the bottom of the first, It looked like TCU's luck in the top of the frame might not be enough to stave off the powerful Aggies. Both teams traded scoreless frames in the second inning, and the game had the feel of a heavyweight bout. That was the feeling until TCU's heavyweight, Luken Baker, launched colossal three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field to give the Frogs a 5-2 lead. Texas A&M's starter Brigham Hill was sharp in the first couple of innings, but he walked Cam Warner and Evan Skoug to start the third and Baker made him pay.

After two more scoreless frames in the fourth, Baker got things going again with a two-out single in the top of the fifth. Barzilli was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put runners on second and third. A wild pitch by Hill got so out of hand that the Texas A&M catcher lost in at the backstop and Baker was able to make it all the way around from second to score and make it 6-2 TCU. Hill followed that up by walking Watson and Steinhagen as well and Merrill came through with a double down the left field line to get TCU out front 8-2.

The biggest storyline of this game though was the incredible effort that TCU got off the mound from Jared Janczak. A redshirt freshman, Janczak made his first appearance out of the bullpen in February, and over the last month he has become arguably the most reliable starter the Horned Frogs have. He got a little rattled in the first, but over the next 6 2/3 innings he pitched the game of his TCU career. His final line was 7 2/3 innings pitched, giving up only two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. He threw 119 pitches, and gave the Frogs all they could ask for in the win against the Aggies to take a 1-0 lead in this super regional series.

Brian Trieglaff came on in relief of Janczak and got the last out of the eighth before Ryan Burnett followed that up with a strong ninth inning to give TCU the win. The Frogs just looked like the looser team all night. Maybe the Aggies were a little distracted after having eight players drafted to the MLB today, but you can't say that TCU isn't playing some incredible baseball this postseason. Texas A&M now needs to win two in a row to deny the Frogs a third straight trip to Omaha. The winner of the College Station Super Regional will face the winner of the Lubbock Super Regional in the first round of the College World Series. Texas Tech lost 8-6 to East Carolina on Friday night.