The #10 TCU Baseball Horned Frogs have high hopes in 2021, building off of a season that started strong a year ago and with a roster chock full of talented veterans and exciting young players.
They’ll start their road to Omaha close to home, as part of the inaugural State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, just up the road from Lupton Stadium.
“We are excited to be a part of the first year of this tourney,” Jim Schlossnagle said. “It’s an even better opportunity than anyone anticipated. Having been in the facility and seen what a first class ballpark it is, there’s no better way to bring college baseball back to the forefront of our nation than this tourney.”
Originally announced in May of last year with a field that included Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Arkansas from the SEC, as well as Texas, TCU and Texas Tech from the Big 12, it was unclear if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would allow for it to continue. But with most of the conferences signing off on a relatively normal 2021 baseball schedule, the tournament will push on in Tarrant County, keeping the same field but changing the announced schedule just slightly. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, January 21st at 1:00 pm at www.teasrangers.com. Single day tickets will be $25 and you can watch all three days of action for just $50. The stadium will be capped at around 15,000 fans, and will not be cleared between games.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, approximately 5% of the top 200 prospects in college baseball will be competing in the three day weekend, something that TCU Baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle says is a boon for the fans. “You’re talking about six teams that are in the top 10-15 programs of the country not just this year, but most years. Fan bases will come out in droves for the baseball and to see the new stadium, and to watch a bunch of guys that will be in the Big Leagues in 18-24 months.” Schloss added that according to a veteran MLB scout, there are over 60 what we would be termed high-end follows in this tournament — “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The Horned Frogs will face #6 Ole Miss Friday night, #7 Mississippi State Saturday, and close the weekend with #8 Arkansas Sunday.
Three top ten teams. Three games. First weekend of the year.
Not ideal for a program, but according to Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, it was “a no-brainer. I would be disappointed if my head coach turned this down. I don’t know if we will quite be ready, but the experience will tell us what we need to work on.”
Rangers Executive Vice President Sean Decker was clear that this isn’t expected to be a one-time deal. “As we began design on Globe Life Field, we envisioned many things. We started dreaming of hosting some of the best college baseball programs in the country, and expect this to be the premiere college baseball tournament available.”
Each coach echoed the sentiment of how great it is to be back to playing baseball, and to play in a tournament of this caliber. Arkansas’ Dave Van Horn said “we are really excited about the start of the season, and to start in such a special venue... the players are extremely excited. The competition is second to none.” Mike Bianco of Ole Miss added “we appreciate the opportunity and we are grateful. To get the opportunity to play terrific competition in a terrific venue, six teams in the top ten... it’s a huge talented but we are excited to be a part of it.” Chris Lemonis of Mississippi State also thinks it’s an awesome opportunity for a bunch of passionate fan bases. “We are excited to see a bunch of fans, to play in front of a bunch of our fans and great fanbases.”
The Horned Frogs actually shut down Globe Life Park back in 2019, playing a team of Texas Futures players in a game that ended in a 3-3 tie. Now, they will be among the first college teams to play in the sparkling new Globe Life Field facility, one that hosted an abbreviated Rangers’ schedule in 2020 as well as several World Series games.
2021 STATE FARM COLLEGE BASEBALL SHOWDOWN SCHEDULE
(Home Team Listed Second)
Friday, February 19
11:00 a.m.—Mississippi State vs. Texas
3:00 p.m.—Mississippi vs. TCU
7:00 p.m.—Arkansas vs. Texas Tech
Saturday, February 20
11:00 a.m.—TCU vs. Mississippi State
3:00 p.m.—Texas Tech vs. Mississippi
7:00 p.m.—Texas vs. Arkansas
Sunday, February 21
11:00 a.m.—Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech
3:00 p.m.—Mississippi vs. Texas
7:00 p.m.—Arkansas vs. TCU
All tickets for this event are considered General Admission tickets. Upon arrival at Globe Life Field, open seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In an effort to promote social distancing, every other row and select seats will be blocked. Single Day Tickets are priced at $25 for adults and $15 for youth 13 and under while the Weekend Passes are priced at $50 for adults and $30 for youth 13 and under. Group and suite ticket packages are also available. .
All State Farm College Baseball Showdown games at Globe Life Field will require facial coverings, social distancing, as well as other enhanced safety and health measures. In an effort to enhance public safety, Globe Life Field will be enforcing a no bag policy. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items, including diaper bags, after proper inspection.
These health and safety protocols are similar to those that were in place for the Major League Baseball Postseason, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the Texas High School Football Playoffs
Single day parking will cost $15 and weekend parking will cost $30. Parking passes can be purchased in advance at texasrangers.com/collegebaseballshowdown, or at parking lot entrances with a credit card. All Globe Life Field concessions will be cashless and offer pre-packaged food and beverage options.