It was not Jared Janczak’s night. The TCU super soph, who has been their best pitcher since May last year, wasn’t as sharp as normal - partially due to an ever-changing strike zone - as he walked a career five batters and was done in just 4.0 innings. Though he gave up just three runs across six innings, it was more than enough, as Alex Faedo was dealing on the other side.
The TCU bats, which had been so good through the regional and super regional rounds, were rendered silent by Faedo, who held the Frogs to just two hits in 7.0 innings, walking a pair while striking out 11. It was a dominant performance by a pitcher who was selected in the middle of the first round earlier this week.
TCU had a golden opportunity in the third, loading the bases with just one out. But Zach Humphreys and Evan Skoug both struck out - the two were 0-7 on the day with five Ks - stranding the runners and leaving the Frogs scoreless. TCU had a couple other chances, but were picked off on multiple occasions and thrown out stealing on others. Overall, it was a sloppy game by the Frogs - two errors, 15 Ks, approximately one million people left on base (ok maybe closer to seven but whatever).
Meanwhile, Florida was just good enough - though they had a couple errors of their own, they capitalized on JJ’s early wildness, scoring once in the third, once in the fourth, and once in the fifth. Behind Faedo’s gem, that was more than enough.
Positives for TCU come from Cal Coughlin, who threw 2.0 innings of two hit ball, Cal Coughlin, who had a perfect seventh, and Nick Lodolo, who finally got back on the mound and looked dominant in the bottom of the eighth in his first action in nearly a month, striking out a pair against just one hit allowed. Cam Warner was the only Frog with two hits, and he blasted a double in the ninth to give TCU a chance to rally, though they would fail to capitalize.
Now, the Frogs will turn their attention to recent playoff rival Texas A&M, who bobbled and walked their way to an opening game loss against a very good Louisville team. For programs that have met the last three years, this game means catharsis for the Aggies, and a chance to get back in the title hunt for the Frogs. You can bet it will be loud, stressful, and memorable. TCU will likely turn to Brian Howard to try and keep their Omaha dreams alive, and the senior is the right guy to have on the mound with everything on the mound.
As was said on twitter tonight... #brightside: Coastal Carolina lost their opening game before coming back to win it all.
And... TCU has the starting pitching to do just that. Go Frogs.