NEGU. Never Ever Give Up. That was the mantra of Micah Ahern, the seven year old teammate of these Frogs who passed away last year as a result of his battle with cancer. It’s also the mantra of these Frogs, and they’re determined to take it all the way.
Things looked really iffy when Traver exited the game after 3 2⁄3 innings with the Frogs hanging onto a 4-2 lead, but Charles King did his best Sean Wymer impression to hold the Gators at bay for the next 3+ innings.
With two outs in the third inning of a tie game, Ryan, “The Omaha Kid” Merrill singled to right and scored on a double from Austin Wade to give the Frogs a 1-0 lead. Wade ended up moving to third on a wild pitch and scored another run on a ground-rule double from Zach Humphreys to make it 2-0 Frogs. But Florida had the answer, and came back to score two of their own in the bottom of the frame.
In the fourth inning TCU put two on with a walk from Warner, a wild pitch and a single from Barzilli. Josh Watson brought both of them in with a triple to center that went off the glove of the Gator’s center fielder. TCU put four more on the board in the sixth. Walks by Merrill and Wanhanen, a single from Watson and Wade scored Wanhanen on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-0 TCU. Humphreys walked the bases loaded and Skoug cleared the bases with a triple in the gap to right center for an 8-2 lead.
Traver came back to school this year for this moment, so it was sad to see him not have his best outing. He did his job though, and kept game in the Frogs favor until he left. He threw 82 pitches and gave up two runs on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. King, on the other hand, did have his best outing of the season. He pitched 3 1⁄3 innings and allowed no runs on just one hit, with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Frogs added one more run in the eighth, and went into the ninth inning with a 9-2 lead. Dalton Brown pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Trey Morris came in to pitch the ninth and gave up a couple of hits but ended the game with a strikeout.
TCU as a team scored nine runs on 10 hits. Skoug was 2 of 5 with three RBIs, Wade was 2 of 5 with two RBIs, Watson was 2 of 3 with two RBIs and Barzilli was 2 of 5 with a run scored.
With the victory the Frogs have forced a deciding semi-final game against the Gators on Saturday. The winner will advance to the best-of-three College World Series Finals. The game will be at 7:00pm CT and will be televised on ESPN with TCU being the home team.