Lost in the power surge was the performance of pitcher Jared Janczak, who had eight strikeouts in just under five innings Sunday afternoon, limiting the Red Raiders to two runs, just one of which was earned. But it was Baker that drew the majority of the attention post-game, and for good reason.
"I expect a lot out of myself, as most people do," Baker said. "Whenever that stuff happens, it’s awesome. But it happened. We have another game in two days, so we have to get locked in again."
If my hometown paper is posting articles about TCU, you can bet they're getting put in the links.
The Frogs fell behind early, fell behind late, but in the end, they came out on top. Tech was doomed by three errors and the choice to pitch to Luken Baker, who keeps doing the impossible.
"All you hear is that ball hitting the barrel, and it sounds like a bomb going off," said relief pitcher Brian Trieglaff, who had given up the run that gave Tech the lead in the eighth. "It's amazing watching him pitch by pitch."
The dugout goes completely silent when Baker gets a hold of one.
Meanwhile, Luken is over here just being perfectly humble and likable.
"[My teammates] were the ones who put us in that position to win that game," Baker said. "[...] Cam is the one that got our offense rolling and gave us the lead and put Trieg in a comfortable position coming in, and if those things don't happen, we probably don't get on a roll there in the ninth inning. It's neat to hear them talk about [the home run], but if Austen Wade and Evan Skoug don't get on right there, I don't get an at bat. Everyone does something for the win."
Maybe that's why the dugout goes silent, so they can hear the crowd gasp.
"It's unreal," said Warner, who homered in the fourth inning on Sunday to even the score at 1-1. "You can even hear the crowd gasp a little bit whenever he hits the ball."
CWS: TCU's Goliath Does It Again | D1 Baseball
TCU has prided itself on being David more often than not when it comes to athletics, but the Horned Frogs have a real life Goliath in their midst. Baker's shot was the difference, but there were standout performances for the Frogs up and down the lineup and the pitching staff.
While Baker was the hero in this one, the Frogs had other standout performances as well. For instance, redshirt freshman righthander Jared Janczak struck out eight and allowed one earned run (two total) in 4.2 innings, while Trieglaff stepped up, striking out five in three solid innings with a fastball sitting 90-93, and up to 94, along with a slider, while finally, electric freshman righty Durbin Feltman closed the game out with a mid-90s fastball and electric stuff.
Ok, one more on Baker. While it's important to remember that it took a lot more than one swing to win this ball game, the Legend of Luken is growing in Omaha, and hopefully this is just the first chapter.
"They’ve been working me away, mixing fastballs, but mostly working me away for the majority of the game," Baker said afterward in a post-game media session. "And when they brought (reliever Robert) Dugger in, he has a good fastball; it’s got good run-in. I figured he missed a few times arm side and maybe he’ll come inside. So I was sitting on that early whenever I still had the count in my favor, and I got it and put a good swing on it."
This has been a brutal year for Tech fans when it comes to playing TCU.
5. The curse of TCU. This is the third time in a third sport that TCU has dashed Texas Tech’s hopes. In football, TCU scored a miraculous last second touchdown on a 4th and goal as the Red Raiders were on the verge of upsetting a top five team. In basketball, TCU upset Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament, likely harming Tech’s seeding in the NCAA tournament. And today, they smacked a three run homer when the Red Raiders were two outs away from starting the tournament 1-0 and recording their first ever victory in the College World Series.
Around the College World Series:
Andrew Beckwith was unbelievable, throwing a complete game and holding the potent Gator offense to a single run. Meanwhile, his offense - though they only managed a pair of runs - hit extra base hit after extra base hit to keep the pressure on Florida pitchers and force them to burn through a lot of arms. Coastal Carolina will face off against the Frogs, while Tech and UF will play an elimination game, both on Tuesday.
Andrew Beckwith, the Coastal Carolina ace, was magnificent on the mount, holding down the Gators' high-powered, talent-strewn lineup at bay.
The #FrogFam is real, as not only did the coaches attend Sunday's game, but have had their programs supporting the baseball team throughout their post-season run.
They got a little face time, too. They were interviewed on the TD Ameritrade Park big screen during the middle of the sixth inning. Patterson was asked to give a piece of advice to the Horned Frogs, who were tied 2-2 with Texas Tech at the time.
Patterson's response: "Find a way to win by one."
It's a different era for the TCU Basketball program if a player like Chauncey Collins, who was often the best player on the floor in purple this past season, doesn't think he can get on the floor in the coming year.
But more than just foreshadowing what the program could do on the recruiting trail after Fisher, he should bring a new level to the court that Collins wouldn’t have considering Collins as a two-star recruit may have reached his ceiling in Fort Worth. Not only is Fisher able to score well, but playing at the one position, he also has exhibited great passing ability with great court vision, a must for any Big 12 point guard.