The road to Omaha just got a whole ‘lot tougher.
TCU Baseball dropped their opening game in the College Station Regional 7-6 in a battle against 3-seed Louisiana.
Because of the loss, the Frogs move into the losers bracket and will face 4-seed Oral Roberts tomorrow afternoon while the Ragin’ Cajuns move on to play the hosts in the evening game.
The Frogs got off to a shaky start, as Riley Cornelio gave up back-to-back home runs in the 2nd inning over the course of a three-pitch span, one of which went for two runs.
Cornelio’s control was all over the board through the first six outs, but eventually, he settled in and was able to notch 3 strikeouts, but his early mistakes were costly.
“I appreciate the way he competed, but he just wasn’t close to the Riley Cornelio that we needed to win a game against a really tough club,” said Assistant Head Coach Bill Mosiello, who filled in for Kirk Saarloos as he wraps up his NCAA suspension.
Although a rocky start wasn’t ideal, Cornelio shouldn’t take all the blame. There were loads of errors and missed opportunities by the Frogs this evening that dug themselves a hole too deep to dig out of.
The majority of the problems though did arise from the pitching staff, who aside from Austin Krob striking out two in the 9th had a pretty rough day at the office.
“We didn’t command the baseball on the mound, and it always starts on the mound,” said Mosiello.
6 walks, 3 hit-by-pitches, a balk, and a pair of wild throws really hurt the Frogs down the stretch. Mostly the wild throws. I mean, hell, the Ragin’ Cajuns’ last two runs of the game both came via a throwing error, both wild throws to first base.
Take those two errors away, and the Frogs win the ballgame.
“Two plays that should have never been thrown, and they obviously really cost us,” said Mosiello. “It’s hard to swallow, a heck of a competitive game and I give those guys [Louisiana] credit for really competing and putting pressure on us.”
Oh, and of course, both runs scored on the errors came with two outs on the board. As did literally every Louisiana run scored tonight. There were several occasions where the Frogs were quite literally one pitch away from retiring the side, but let Louisiana claw back to make some big plays.
All in all, it wasn’t a great day at the office for the Frogs. Even offensively, despite a spark of life here and there on plays like Tommy Sacco’s 2-run homer in the 3rd or Porter Brown’s solo shot in the 7th, the Frogs struggled to string hits together.
As a team, the Frogs finished 7 of 32 from the plate piling up 11 strikeouts. Could be worse I guess, but ouch.
As for tomorrow’s matchup against Oral Roberts, Mosiello said he and Saarloos hadn’t decided who is going to start on the mound tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if it’s not Marcelo Perez.
Although this is a do-or-die situation, the next game will be too. Mosiello expressed that the Frogs might have to “take a risk” tomorrow in order to put themselves in the best situation going forward.
Regardless of who takes the mound, the Frogs have their back against the wall, which certainly isn’t uncharted territory for this group.
“These are the guys you want to go to war with,” said Mosiello. “This is a resilient group. As soon as you think ‘eh I don’t know if they’re very good,’ we’ll come out playing.”
TCU’s second-round game is set to get started at 12 pm CST this Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+, or follow along on Twitter (@FrogsOWar) for live tweets of all the action!