Jared Janczak has stepped up biggest under the brightest lights.
The redshirt freshman, who at one-time was a junior college candidate, has found his niche in the post-season, and been an absolute force on the mound for the Frogs when called upon. Janczak, who make his first 19 appearance of the season out of the bullpen - where he went 5-3 with a 2.22 ERA - has gone 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA, 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 30.1 innings since taking a role in the starting rotation.
While his start in College Station in the opening game of Super Regional play was a bit of a surprise, he rewarded the confidence that his coaches and teammates showed in him with a stellar performance. Jared went 7.2 innings and allowed only two runs, as TCU dominated in game one and took it going away.
“He was a surprise starter, but I wasn’t surprised by his performance,” third baseman Elliott Barzilli said. “He did really great. It’s what’s expected out of the pitching program, what every other pitcher has done throughout the season. He’s a really great pitcher.”
Janczak saw limited action against Texas Tech during the regular season, pitching three innings, allowing one run on three hits, and striking out six in TCU's lone win of the weekend series. The Frogs will hope he can give them the same kind of effort and execution Sunday that he did Friday night in C-Stat. One thing they can be sure of, the lights won't be too bright for the young right-hander out of Belton, TX.
“I wasn’t nervous,” Janczak said. “I was excited to get out there and play. I kind of knew what to expect at Aggieland. I’ve been there a few times.”
Now, as he prepares to make the next biggest start of his career Sunday afternoon, Janczak seems to have the proper perspective.
“I said, ‘Go out and enjoy this tonight. Go out and have some fun,’ ” Saarloos said. “He said, ‘Coach, I can’t tell you how much fun I’m going to have. Last year I was in summer ball watching you guys on TV, and now I get to be part of it.”
It's pretty amazing that a young man who had to almost beg his way into a redshirt season at TCU (and it was the work he put in in the classroom and the character he showed off the field that allowed him to do so), is now one of the biggest keys to his team accomplishing their biggest goals. We are all glad he's a part of it, too.