TCU’s pitchers, young and old, put on a clinic over the weekend. Jared Janczak, only a redshirt freshman, was no exception.
“I don’t care how experienced you are, Opening Day is still special,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “I was concerned how he was going to handle it. But then you look back, he started a regional game, he started a Super Regional opening game, two games in the College World Series. I think right there in that moment, in the first inning, his experience showed up.”
Janczak, who began last season as a relief pitcher, said he was “very appreciative” of the season-opening start.
As our own Chris Conaty said, any opposing pitcher that shuts down this TCU lineup deserves a future in the Big Leagues. The Frogs are absolutely stacked, 1-9. Nolan Brown was the hero Saturday night, and freshman catcher also deserves a shout-out for the way he handled his first college game - at and behind the plate.
“A day like today, the depth of the lineup showed up,” Schlossnagle said. “Nolan drove in four runs, but Humphreys’ at-bats were awesome. Two RBIs and got deep in counts. Did a really good job for his first college game.”
TCU used the long ball, excellent base-running, and exceptional performances from four freshmen pitchers to finish off the Nittany Lions in Fort Worth to start the season.
“It was good to get out there and play someone other than ourselves,” said Baker, who played first base in two of the games and hit his first home run of the season, a solo blast to left center in the fifth inning. “The pitching staff looked awesome. Finally getting a break from us.”
Though they couldn’t break through for a win over the weekend, the Nittany Lions showed that they can compete in the Big 10, and the sweep could help the Horned Frogs come postseason seeding.
Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) homered twice, but Penn State was unable to maintain a strong start, as No. 1 TCU completed a series sweep with a 9-3 victory over the Nittany Lions Sunday afternoon in Lupton Stadium.
Burger went 2-for-4 with the two home runs and all three runs batted in to lead Penn State (0-3) offensively. He homered just once as a Big Ten All-Freshman pick in 2016.
There are only so many opportunities remaining for the Frogs to get a statement win before Selection Sunday.
TCU needed a win Saturday, especially on the road, to strengthen its argument for the NCAA tournament. Winning games is hard in the Big 12, but the Frogs need some more W's if they are hoping to get a spot. It is not impossible, but the Frogs have four more games to see what can happen.
Alex Robinson had a strong offensive game, but the Frogs struggled with turnovers, especially in the first half.
Guard Alex Robinson scored 16 points and eight assists to lead the Horned Frogs, who lost despite hitting 52.7 percent of its field-goal attempts. TCU has lost three straight after winning three in a row.
The Frogs turned it over on their first five possessions and finished with 19.
“The turnovers really put us in a hole to start the game,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We’re getting pushed around, and we’ve got to do something about it.”
The Lady Frogs almost had a signature win of their own, but couldn’t quite topple the ranked Wildcats.
“It hurts to fight that hard and come up short,” Okonkwo said. “Gotta give more. You always have more to give.”
Kansas State took its first lead of the game at 64-63 with 1:48 to play on Kindred Wesemann’s fourth 3-pointer. Wesemann led the Wildcats with 19 points in the win.
After two free throws put KSU up 68-65 with just under five seconds left to play, Jada Butts’ inbound pass from the sideline was too tall for Adeola Akomolafe on the Frogs’ final possession, and TCU didn’t get a shot attempt.
The Frogs’ wide receiver corp should be a strength of the team, losing only one player to graduation. The impact of true freshmen Omar Manning and Jalen Reagor is yet to be seen, but expect big things from them once they hit the field. The article doesn’t mention Kenedy Snell, but I have heard from multiple coaches that he is the fastest high school player they have ever seen, so don’t forget about him come fall.
TCU's top six receivers are returning for Kenny Hill this fall -- including a healthy Turpin. These top-notch returners will provide the offense with a boost of energy it seemed to lack last season. Their veteran skills and ability give them that extra push they need when it comes to working with Hill. Even though last season was a little rocky at times, given the time to mature in their abilities will do wonders for the Frogs. True freshmen Jalen Reagor and Omar Manning also have the opportunity to step up and bring a lot of talent to this already dominant group.
TCU has been incredibly busy on the recruiting trail over the last several weeks... but it’s an offer to a tight end that seems most surprising. Might we see the TE become a bigger part of the offense this fall?
Taylor received an offer from the Frogs following his visit to TCU’s campus on Saturday. The rising tight end was impressed with what he saw in Ft. Worth.
“It's an awesome place and all the new changes will be awesome as well,” he said.
The Frogs are recruiting Taylor as a “Y” receiver and he says he feels he can fit in with the up-tempo offense.
“I think I could fit well,” Taylor said of TCU. “I just want to see them in practice coming up.”