Not many teams get the opportunity to make consecutive trips to the Promised Land, so for the Frogs to make it three in a row, especially in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, is all but unbelievable.
"For it to be my first three years on campus, and all three trips going to the College World Series, it’s unbelievable. I can’t put it into words. … I just never want this feeling to end," said Howard (9-2, 3.29 ERA in 16 starts this season). "What’s been really fun, to contribute to an Omaha run."
We are soooooooooo lucky to have the kind of leadership across our athletic department that we do. Schloss holds his players to a higher standard on and off the field, and his and their meticulous preparation and ability to focus is what sets them apart, even when the pressure is on.
"They just have a culture of winning, expectations of winning," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. "Schloss ... laid a foundation early. It speaks volumes when you have 50 of our former players back there working now. All of our pro players come back. When you start to have that energy around, they teach the young guys what to do next. It's amazing."
While Tech's record as of late may not look stellar, their late season slump can possibly be attributed to taking the Big 12 crown so comfortably. And they won in impressive fashion to clinch the trip to Omaha.
Texas Tech is not playing so hot. They have lost five of their last eleven and had to stave off elimination three times this postseason, despite being the fifth overall seed in the tournament. They do have room for optimism though, as they won two of three in Fort Worth earlier this season.
Much like Gary Patterson before him, it seems every time a high-profile job opens, Jim Schlossnagle's name comes up. But Chris Del Conte is as good as they come when it comes to making sure his coaches have every reason to stay, financial or otherwise.
Two weeks ago Louisville gave its coach, Dan McDonnell, a 10-year, $10.6 million contract that will make him college baseball’s newest highest paid coach.
"When the landscape starts to change," Del Conte said, "our job is to make sure our guys stay, and the landscape changed when Louisville gave its coach that raise.
"Gary Patterson and Schloss have taken us to new heights. My job is to make sure they stay at TCU."
In a bit of a departure from his normal demeanor, Coach Jim Schlossnagle has made no secret of his goals for Omaha - they are going there to win, period.
"Anytime you go and you don’t win, you’re thinking what can I do to give ourselves a better chance to win," said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "We played really well last year. I think you can still do everything right and not have the baseball gods look kindly on you."
The Big 12 as a Baseball Conference? Underrated.
The Big 12 is the only conference with multiple teams in this year’s field of eight as the league looks to end a 10-year drought without a national championship (2005 - Texas).
This is the 14th time one conference has sent three or more teams to the CWS in the same year. Of those occasions, the Big 12 is the only conference to have advanced 100 percent of its bids.
The TCU rate out as a middle of the pack team according to the writer, who sees them just a tick below Oklahoma State and slightly ahead of their opening round opponent, Texas Tech
The Frogs stumbled a bit through the regular season but have been one of the hottest teams in the country in the postseason. They cruised through the Big 12 Tourney on the way to a championship, steamrolled their regional, then wrestled two of three from SEC champ Texas A&M in the supers. The theme has been shutdown pitching -- only Oklahoma State and Florida have tournament ERAs better than TCU's 1.83. In College Station, the Frogs held one of the most explosive offenses in the country to a combined three runs and eight hits in their two wins (A&M broke out for seven runs on nine hits in the middle game, still modest by Aggie standards).
This is a great piece, with a few interesting facts about each team.
The Horned Frogs had a bit of a gap between their first NCAA tournament appearance to their second -- about 38 years. Their first NCAA appearance was in 1956; their second was 1994. TCU's first CWS trip wasn't until 2010, but this year's trip makes three consecutive College World Series appearances.
Welp, I guess this, whatever it was, is officially over.
An administrator from the Big 12 offices called Texas Tech athletic department to investigate this this crisis. The Tech administrator also supported Tadlock’s claims that his team did nothing wrong. The Red Raiders went so far as to supply video tape evidence of the incident to clear their good names.