The Horned Frogs win last night was sloppy, I would even venture to say lucky. Tonight though, was nothing short of dominant. Brian Howard, in his last ever start at Lupton, gave up a home run to the first batter he faced and proceeded to hold Missouri State to just three more hits over the next 7 1⁄3 innings. Howard struck out 11 and walked just two on the way to his 11th win of the season. He ended his night with a strikeout of MSU’s hottest hitter Jeremy Eierman, and rode off into the sunset as the Frogs went on to win 8-1.
TCU had 14 total hits and two home runs as they clinched their first ever two-game sweep of a Super Regional. One of the home runs was a two-run blast from Skoug in the third to put TCU up 4-1 and the other was a three-run bomb by Barzilli in the top of the ninth to make it 8-1 Horned Frogs.
Playing as the away team in this game, TCU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Cam Warner singled up the middle with two outs to drive in the freshman DH Zach Humphreys from third. Nolan Brown singled to start the second inning and came all the way around to score from first on a double from Barzilli. That gave TCU a lead at 2-1 that they would never relinquish.
Barzilli was on fire in this one. He was 3 for 4 on the day with a walk, a run scored, and four RBIs including the three-run homer in the ninth to put the game out of reach for MSU. Zach Humphreys and Cam Warner were both 3 for 5 in the game with three runs and an RBI between the two of them. Evan Skoug was 1 for 4 with a walk, which pushed in a run with the bases loaded, a run scored and three RBIs including the two run home run.
TCU was able to drive Missouri State’s starter Doug Still out of the game after five innings, and opened up the sixth with a 4-1 lead against one of the best relievers in the country in Jake Fromson. After a lead-off single, a fielding error by MSU and other single, the Frogs had the bases loaded, immediately putting Fromson on the ropes. Skoug then worked a walk from Fromson, forcing in a run to make it 5-1. Barzilli’s home run against Fromson in the ninth made today’s outing the second most runs he has given up in a game this year in 38 appearances.
Sean Wymer came in to relieve Howard in the eighth and breezed through the final five outs of the ballgame with four strikeouts on twenty pitches. TCU had it all going today, and looked the part of one of the country’s top teams.
The win today improved TCU’s record to 5-0 this year in the NCAA Tournament and made Brian Howard 5-0 in his last five NCAA Tournament starts. When Luken Baker went down against Oklahoma I would not have believed you if you told me that TCU was about to go on its most dominant postseason run in school history, but here we are. If we keep pitching like this and Skoug and the rest of the offense can hold up their end, we could keep this thing rolling the way to June 28th in Omaha.
TCU will open up the College World Series in Omaha against the winner of the Gainesville Super Regional between Florida and Wake Forest. We won’t know for a while whether TCU will play on Saturday or Sunday, but the College World Series starts next Saturday on June 17th. I’ll be there and you should be too. For one more year we are cruising on the #ToadToOmaha. Go Frogs.