Lights out pitching from Cam Brown and an early 2-run home run from Brayden Taylor propelled the Frogs to a 6-1 win over 3-seed Louisiana in a do-or-die scenario.
With the win, the Frogs advance to the College Station regional final, where they’ll face the hosts and no. 5 national seed Texas A&M. Being that the Aggies have a game to drop, TCU will have to win tonight at 7 pm in order to force a second game, where in that scenario it would be winner take all.
The Frogs needed some big performances this afternoon in order to reach the next stage, and that’s exactly what they got against the Ragin’ Cajun.
Whereas TCU’s bats took a couple of innings to find their groove in the previous two regional games, the Frogs came ready to swing today. After a Tommy Sacco single down the third base line, Brayden Taylor blasted a 2-run home run out to right field to open the scoring in the 1st.
There seemed to be an extra pep in the Frogs step every time it was their turn on offense. As a team, they finished 12-for-36 (.333) from the plate. That’s as many hits as the previous two regional games combined.
Gray Rodgers (2-4), Tommy Sacco (2-5), and Kurtis Byrne (3-5) led the way all with multi-hit games, while Porter Brown also had himself quite the outing. Newly dubbed “Dr. June” finished the day with an RBI double, 2 stolen bases, and only failed to reach base safely once all game after drawing a walk and a hit by pitch along the way.
Even with today’s offensive success, it felt like the Frogs still left a lot of runs off the board. TCU finished the day leaving 9 runners stranded on base, though it wasn’t an end all be all as they were still able to string hits together from time to time.
Frankly, with as well as Cam Brown played today, it’s easy to forget about the stranded runners. The righty had a career day on the mound. He finished with 3 strikeouts, 0 earned runs (the 1 was not scored as an ER), and a 61.4% strike rate on a career-high 114 pitches. He nearly went the distance but was relieved after the 8th inning for Drew Hill.
“For him [Brown] to be able to be ready for this moment and go out and give us what he got, give us a better opportunity to play two more games with some guys that didn’t have to throw today,” said Saarloos.
Hill came in and got the job done, closing out the game without giving up any additional runs.
Considering the Aggies have such a high-powered offense, the Frogs are going to need another big game from the mound tonight if they want to survive this regional. Per head coach Kirk Saarloos, the Frogs are rolling with Austin Krob on the mound tonight.
As if the Frogs aren’t used to these by now, we’ve got another do-or-die game on our hands. A win over Schlossnagle’s Aggies would mean there’d be one final game to decide who moves onto the superregional stage.
I know how bad Horned Frog fans want to win this game, so I can only imagine how bad the players want it. The biggest test of the season takes place tonight.
The rivalry matchup is set to get started at 7 pm CST. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network or follow along on Twitter (@FrogsOWar) to keep up with all the action!