Win four of five and the Frogs are in. Win out at home and get one in the tournament and that works too. Just get in the madness and hope for a favorable matchup.
TCU, which is trending down in the last projection, would play 8-seed Louisville in Pittsburgh with the winner likely to face 1-seeded Villanova.
Jamie Dixon’s program has a chance to improve on that ranking with three of their final five games coming at home (against Oklahoma State on Saturday at 7 p.m., Baylor on Feb. 24, and Kansas State on Feb. 27), and a road trip to Iowa State on Feb. 21. The Frogs end the regular season at No. 7 Texas Tech on March 3.
It seems insane to think the Frogs will make it five straight, when you consider all the new faces. But who is going to doubt Schloss?
Only seven teams in the history of the College World Series have made it to Omaha five consecutive seasons. That’s what TCU is trying to do in 2018. The last to do it was Stanford from 1999 to 2003. The others are Miami (1978-82 and 1994-99), Northern Colorado (1957-62), Oklahoma (1972-76), Oklahoma State (1981-87), USC (1970-74 won title all five years) and Texas (1981-85).
Interesting note: Miami’s first CWS appearance was in 1974. The Canes didn’t return for four years until ‘78 they went started their five-year run, which culminated with the private school’s first ever CWS title in 1982. TCU’s first CWS was in 2010. The Frogs didn’t go back until 2014.
How much of the Frogs’s success sits on Baker? Offensively, probably a lot. But the pitching should be as good - or maybe even better - than ever.
“We talk a lot, especially this year, about resetting to zero because last year’s group was awesome and the year before that was awesome and the year before that as well,” Wanhanen said. “This is a completely different team.”
TCU is a consensus top-10 team nationally and picked to finish behind two-time defending champion Texas Tech in the Big 12. D1Baseball.com selected shortstop Adam Oviedo for its preseason freshman of the year and Baker as its player of the year in the Big 12.
Baker missed the last 21 games of last season after injuring his left (non-throwing) arm in a collision at first base. He was the 2016 freshman of the year and is batting .355 with 103 RBIs in 114 career games.
“Everything is all healed up 100 percent,” Baker said.
Don’t forget about Omar Manning. He joins Reagor and Hunt as another exciting, talented, young receiver.
Why 2018 production could be better: Jalen Reagor and Omar Manning will finally be playing together and the duo could truly turn Big 12 defenses on their heads. Tevailance Hunt and Bryson Jackson are exciting new additions. Also, veterans like Jarrison Stewart might break out with less competition at the top of the depth chart.
Overall outlook: If you liked Jalen Reagor, get ready for two more. Omar Manning and Tevailance Hunt are going to be fantastic. You may only see their talents in short flashes this season, but there’s so much more to come. Second only to running back, wide receiver will be TCU’s strongest position in 2018.