After starting 2-0 in the College World Series for the first time in their history, the Frogs dropped two straight to a Chanticleer team that never believed they couldn't win it all. Their incredible pitching this week gives them the chance to do just that.
Coastal, which got a complete game from Andrew Beckwith on Friday night, got 6 1/3 innings from starter Alex Cunningham, who took the loss Tuesday night to TCU.
Right-handed reliever Bobby Holmes entered with a runner on third and one out in the seventh and squelched a rally with a ground ball and a strikeout.
For a program that had gotten close to Omaha but never quite crossed the threshold prior to this season, they sure are making the most of their inaugural CWS.
In Omaha, Coastal Carolina lost to TCU in its second game, meaning the Chanticleers had to win three straight to go to the finals. The Chanticleers knocked off Texas Tech on Thursday and TCU on Friday before beating the Frogs again.
It's a testament to the culture that Jim Schlossnagle has built in Fort Worth that these guys all keep close tabs on the program from across the big leagues. Finnegan is another player who credits his success to the foundation his coaches built for him in Fort Worth.
“Coach Schloss and coach Saarloos kind of built the type of pitcher I am now. Without them I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at,” he said. “It’s fun watching them do what they do. It’s special. I’m rooting for them.
“Those are a lot of guys who have a lot of heart. They work hard in everything they do. I think TCU had a lot to do with it. It made them better players.”
It went from a rebuilding year to a true belief they could win it all in a matter of weeks. And as disappointing as it is to fall short yet again, it's impossible to look back on this season and call it anything but incredible. That being said, there will be much high expectations heading into 2017, though now is the time to look back, not forward.
But one thing Schlossnagle knows better than anybody is that the road to Omaha doesn’t get any shorter. A team still has to make a lot of pitches, score a lot of runs and win a lot of games to get back to the College World Series.
And Saturday night was too soon to be thinking of that.
The four star recruit has narrowed down his choices to the Tigers and the Frogs after being released by the Bears over the weekend, and will make his official visit to Fort Worth in the coming days. A native of Port Arthur, TX, the well-rounded athlete could compete for playing time in the backfield immediately this fall.
"(TCU) said I can be an impact player right away," Martin said. "Auburn showed me a lot of love and treated me like family. That's kind of what I like. I want to go somewhere where they treat me like family... Auburn was about business, so we'll see if TCU can show me a good time."
Though his roommate's journey has ended, Ford Story's dream is just now beginning. Though he's a long shot to make Rio, he knows a little something about being the underdog and overcoming adversity from Mitchell Traver, who is his campus roommate.
“It’s the elite of the elite, competing for Team USA, which is always the best,” Story said. “It’s pretty rigorous. I’ve been training well. I’ve tapered. So I feel rested right now. I’ve taken all the right measures to do my best.”