Everyone has been frustrated with this rain. I was at the game on Saturday night and I was absolutely exhausted by the time TCU wrapped things up with a win around 1:30am. Its been upsetting as a fan, and I can only imagine what this has been like to go through for the players, coaches, and grounds crew. It has seemed at times that the Fort Worth regional was cursed, and after the third straight day of rain delays there was a concern that fatigue and discontent might affect the quality of play.
Instead, TCU seemed to feed off the adversity and took out their frustration on Virginia’s starter Daniel Lynch early. When the field was announced a week ago, we knew TCU would have to contend with one of the most talented regional fields in the country. It seems like a dream right now that after almost nothing seemed to go their way in terms of game start times, the Frogs controlled what they could, played good baseball and are sitting at 2-0 going into Monday.
The Frogs scored one run in the second and three runs in the third to give Jared Janczak and the Horned Frogs a 4-0 advantage. Janczak proceeded to mow down the Cavaliers to the tune of just one run on six hits with one walk and six strike outs over eight innings.
Nolan Brown doubled to lead off the second before two straight groundouts from Barzilli and Wanhanen advanced him to third and brought him around to score. In the third TCU put runners on the corners with no outs after they started the inning with back-to-back singles from Merrill and Wade. A fielder’s choice from Humphreys and an error by Virginia allowed Merrill to score, and Skoug doubled in the next at bat to score Wade as well. Skoug eventually came around to score as well and make it 4-0 on another error by the Cavaliers.
After 2 2⁄3 innings of work for Lynch, Virginia went to Alec Bettinger, who had already pitched an inning of work on Saturday against Dallas Baptist. Bettinger was masterful. He kept the Frogs at bay, throwing 99 pitches over 5 1⁄3 innings and allowing just one run on one hit with three walks and four strikeouts. That one run happened in the top of the ninth inning, when Landestoy singled to start off the inning and end Bettinger’s day. Landestoy eventually came around to score on a fielder’s choice after a hit batter and a walk by Virgina reliever Sousa loaded the bases for the Frogs with one out.
There wasn’t a lot of drama. Durbin Feltman had to come in relief of Janczak and deal with a runner on first in the ninth. Things got a little interesting when he walked the first batter he faced, but he proceeded to strike out the next three and close the door on a 5-1 victory for the Horned Frogs.
Everything seemed to go well today for TCU and they took advantage with dominant pitching and timely hitting. With the starting pitching that we have seen the last couple of weeks, this team is going to be tough to beat on the Road to Omaha; especially at Lupton.
TCU will face the winner of tomorrow afternoon’s game between Dallas Baptist and Virginia in the Fort Worth Regional Final, tomorrow evening at 7:00pm CT.