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TCU News: College World Series Starts Saturday

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The opening round of games tip off this afternoon, while the Frogs will wait another day to take the field for the first time in Omaha.

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Baseball:

Jared Janczak to start Game 1 for TCU vs Tech in College World Series | The Star-Telegram

This kid is even more unbelievable that what we know of him on the field. As a true freshman, pitching coach Kirk Saarloos talked to Jared about going the JuCo route to get some experience before matriculating to TCU. But Janczak, not afraid of the competition, talked his way on to the roster and spent a redshirt season biding his time. It has paid off for both parties, and he will have a chance to show the rest of the world what he's made of Sunday against Tech.

“Really good competitive kid,” Saarloos said. “There are a lot of attributes you can see on paper or see with your own eyes. One of the things you can’t see is what he has, kind of that ‘it’ factor. He’s a guy that’s not scared of a situation.”

'I'm picking TCU' at College World Series, says MLB Network's Kevin Millar | The Star-Telegram

We will actually be sitting down with Mr. Millar to conduct our own interview later this morning, but it was certainly interesting to see how high he is on TCU. The Austin resident has followed Frog football and baseball over the last several years, and likes the scrappiness and toughness of this TCU team.

“I like TCU. I’m picking TCU. Might be a homer pick, because I live down the street in Austin, Texas. But college baseball, it’s just like March Madness or college football — you just never know. Hopefully these kids go out there and have a blast. It’s the funnest time of their lives at this point.”

Congressmen rooting on TCU, Texas Tech | Burleson Star

Finally, something in politics that's worth paying attention to. ;)

“Although some of these guys aren’t strangers to Omaha, it’s an honor for all of them to be there, so I know TCU will come in ready to play,” Williams said. “I look forward to watching the game Sunday and cheering on my team.”

College World Series: TCU's Road to Omaha | NCAA.com

The two teams, no stranger to each other or to playing in Omaha, will meet in the first game of bracket play for the second time in the last three seasons. While the Frogs have not forgotten what it felt like to lose to the Red Raiders on their home field, they are strictly looking ahead.

"It's all about how you play today, not how you played back then," TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli said. "It's about how you win this game today."

Nebraska Native Makes CWS Debut as TCU Horned Frog | News Channel Nebraska

The Frogs, who have become local favorites among the Omaha crowd, should get a little extra juice from their Nebraska native during the series. Shortstop Ryan Merrill will bring a pro-purple crowd with him in each game TCU plays.

“It’s a dream come true. It’s always been a goal of mine to play in this [College World Series]  but I never really thought I’d ever really have the chance going to a junior college for two years,” Merrill shares.

Hard-hitting TCU freshman doesn't regret passing up MLB millions | Dallas News

The story is well-known by now, that Luken Baker emailed all 30 MLB teams to inform them that he would be attending college, no matter where he was picked. Now, on the precipice of playing on his game's biggest stage, having already become a legend in Fort Worth, he seems to have made the right call.

Naturally there might be some anguish about turning down a potential million-dollar payday to get an education. Baker assured others about a lack of regret, even if he wasn't so sure at the time.

"I was saying, 'I won't [have regrets],' maybe thinking I will at some point, but I never have," Baker said. "Everything's gone so great."

Football:

Big 12 mailbag: Burgers, baseball, bars | ESPN.com

Jeff Gladney has made a big impression this spring, and could fill a big need for the Frogs, who have already lost Julius Lewis for the season. Make sure you read the whole article, as Jake gives his pick for TCU/Texas Tech at the end.

A couple of defensive backs to keep an eye on this season: Iowa State'sD'Andre Payne and TCU's Jeff Gladney. Gladney was fantastic for the Horned Frogs this spring on his way to winning a starting job at cornerback. He will be critical for TCU with Julius Lewis out for the season and Ranthony Texadacoming back from a knee injury.

These 10 QBs could have a breakout season in 2016 | Pro Football Focus

Kenny Hill has big game experience, just not much of it. And after a year on the bench, and in a new system with new coaches, he's still basically an unknown. But while the program has been tight-lipped about who will start come September, most expect Hill to be the one taking the reigns.

In the eight games Hill played for Texas A&M in 2014, he posted two outstanding grades, two good grades, two average grades and two poor grades. That resulted in the No. 21 passing grade in the country that year, just a few points behind eventual No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston out of Florida State, despite playing only a little over half of the amount of snaps. We know TCU’s passing offense is capable of producing big-time numbers after Trevone Boykin ranked seventh in overall QB grades and fourth in adjusted deep completion percentage last season, and Hill could be in store for a big 2016 campaign.