Looks like we won’t know the game one starter until later this afternoon, as Schloss is playing a little chess. I still think it’s Mitchell Traver on the bump... unless he decides to go with Howard? Missouri State is hoping their ace has another great performance in him.
Still started two games in the Fayetteville Regional last week, throwing 72 pitches in 5.2 innings in the opening round against Oklahoma State and 70 pitches in 5.0 innings on two days’ rest against Arkansas.
“Tremendous, gritty performance,” Guitton said. “Going into it, honestly, I was hoping to get two or three innings and he just shut them down. He felt fine. Was in command, and we got five. It was a great effort. A gutty effort on his part in two days.”
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said he would wait until Missouri State announced its rotation before he announced his.
Omaha loves TCU, TCU loves Omaha. Let’s hope we get to have our annual reunion again next week.
Slowing that unit is by far the biggest key, according to Schlossnagle. He said when the Horned Frogs’ pitchers have been locked in this season, TCU has typically enjoyed the final results.
He has a good feeling. The Horned Frogs are used to celebrating at this time of year. They hope to be dogpiling again this weekend.
“When you have a team full of guys who’ve played in Omaha several times … they never panic,” Schlossnagle said. “You know, even getting into a regional now is super, super hard. To win one is even harder. Now we’ve earned the right to play at home, and that always helps.”
The former team USA teammates have mutual respect for each other. But Skoug certainly wants to kick Burger’s butt this weekend.
“That was an instant connection,” Burger said. “I think we just the same mentality toward the game. We come from similar programs in the sense of how our coaches teach the game. Those are the things that instantly connected with us.”
Both hit third in the order. Both lead their teams in RBIs (just three apart). They walk about the same. They have 40 home runs between them, 22 for Burger, 18 for Skoug.
If not for Skoug’s ice-cold 2-for-23 start to the season, their hit totals and on-base percentages would probably be almost as close.
“He was texting me at the beginning of the season and said his season didn’t get off to the best start,” Burger said. “But I try and watch as many games as I can, and he’s really lit it up the last couple of weeks.”
I, for one, do not think Nick Lodolo starts a game this weekend. But he will get used out of the pen.
“For the future of our team and our program, I want Nick to have a chance to pitch in this kind of environment,” Schlossnagle said during a press conference Friday at Lupton Stadium, where TCU and Missouri State will play a Super Regional starting Saturday. “That may be a start, that may be out of the bullpen. We got him a good sim game this week, practiced a few situations.”
“The Super Regional is the one time of year where pitching depth really doesn’t matter,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s about the first four or five or six guys, unless you get an extra-inning game or you’re getting blown out and you want to save some innings on the high-end guys. He’s certainly one of those five or six guys. We’ll see how the games go day to day.”
This is the first time I have seen anyone talk about Janczak’s draft possibilities this month. The redshirt sophomore will be eligible, as he will be 22 in just a couple weeks. But it sound like he is looking to return for his junior season and explore pro ball after that.
It helps Janczak that his catcher is second-team All-American and Big 12 Co-Player of the Year Evan Skoug, ranked by Baseball America as the draft’s No. 74 prospect.
“We’ve been roommates since we first got here and he’s one of my best friends on the team,” Janczak said. “He has great work ethic on and off the field and wants to be a professional player.”
Janczak is ranked just outside of Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects and likely will be chosen somewhere between Rounds 15 and 20. Although he’s interested in playing pro baseball, Janczak wants to complete his degree in geographic information systems and win a national championship before he departs Cowtown.
“(Scouts) have talked to us about the draft, but I’m not thinking about it right now,” said Janczak, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining. “My heart is here. A degree, that’s what I want.”