It's not every day someone throws a 140-pitch game--well, 137 to be exact--but that's what Andrew Beckwith did Friday night against TCU. Despite the strike zone being wide open for both sides, under their Ace's side arm guidance, Coastal undeniably earned their win Friday night.
Luckily for the Horned Frogs, Coastal doesn't have another Andrew Beckwith. And even tho Mitchell Traver looked his best since returning from injury, and some defensive errors definitely contributed to the 4-1 loss, seeing that it was TCU's first loss in nearly two weeks--the last time being when Traver pitched--it's still very much TCU's game to lose Saturday night.
Coastal and the Horned Frogs have both played brilliantly in their last 20 games, but there a few ways the Frogs can put the Chanticleers on the ropes Saturday night. For one, start Michael Landestoy. Everyone at this point knows the story of the complete 180° he did this year, and even tho Connor Wanhanen will have an entire offseason to earn his spot back, you play the guy who's been better. That's Landestoy.
Second, control the pace of Coastal's pitcher. Beckwith is great. But he isn't Clayton Kershaw. Like Dylan Fitzgerald tweeted, the left handers, indeed should've been licking their chops last night. There was plenty of good contact, and while Beckwith's 68 MPH curveball was brilliant, where he was best was his quick pace and disallowing the TCU offense any chance to get comfortable. Given the swings the TCU batters put on the ball last night, if they limit errors, find a way to balance smart base running with their agro base running, and get a remotely decent pitching performance(s), there's no reason to think this team won't be playing for a Championship come Monday.
I'd expect Jared Janczak, who we last saw in a brilliant performance on Father's Day, to pitch Saturday night. In his last game, even tho he left in the 5th inning, he still managed 8 strikeouts, and gave up 2 hits and an earned run. Brian Trieglaff was just as brilliant in the game as well, and I expect this duo to be just as stingy tonight.
It's now win or go home, but as Schlossnagle said; we don't have to play today--we get to play today...