Jared Janczak looked better in his start, but the bullpen couldn’t protect a 6-1 lead.
The Torero bats came to life in the sixth as they sent 11 men to the plate and scored six times to take a 7-6 lead. The first six batters reached base and all six scored. An error with two on allowed the tying runs to score. Shane McGuire’s one-out single drove in the go-ahead run. San Diego took advantage of a walk and two errors in the seventh to score an insurance run. Three walks and a hit batter in the eighth turned into the final run of the contest.
The Frogs are trying to get back to the tournament for the second consecutive season, but bid stealers like St. Mary’s and Liberty are leaving little room for error.
Last season, TCU ended a 20-year NCAA tournament drought. Now, despite a season laced with injuries and impending transfers and an assistant coach linked to a college basketball corruption scandal, the Horned Frogs are trying to go back-to-back for the first time since 1952-53.
Corey Barker is on administrative leave after being linked to the FBI college basketball corruption case. The players, though, are using his absence as motivation.
“Everybody is really close with Coach Corey,” senior point guard Alex Robinson said. “He’s like a player’s coach. He helps us with everything. Whenever we need something, he’s there for us.
“The absence of Corey, I feel, really fueled us because we don’t know the whole situation, but we know he’s a real good guy and we’re missing him.”
Football isn’t the only program with a chip on its shoulder.
“I love it. It’s just extra motivation, always being counted out,” Bane said. “That’s kind of why I went to this school. TCU hadn’t done much, so carrying that chip on the shoulder all the way through.”
Rogers has been cleared to practice in full this spring, but TCU should still be cautious with the redshirt freshman.
But the situation with Rogers is anything but simple after he sustained a catastrophic knee injury as a high school senior in 2017. And what turned into roughly a 14 recovery for his knee was only further complicated when he developed a drop-foot condition last fall. Patterson told reporters three days into spring practice that Rogers was “90-95 percent” healthy. Alas, extreme caution is still warranted given the severity of what the Bossier City, La., native has gone through.