Omaha-bound Frogs meet familiar faces in College World Series

Eight teams, including three from the Big 12, remain as TCU heads to Omaha, Neb., for a first-round CWS matchup with Texas Tech.

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TCU's Boomer White celebrates his team's 6-5 win over Pepperdine in the final game of the Fort Worth Super Regional. The Frogs face Big 12 rival Texas Tech on Sunday. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

TCU's Boomer White celebrates his team's 6-5 win over Pepperdine in the final game of the Fort Worth Super Regional. The Frogs face Big 12 rival Texas Tech on Sunday. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

655 miles from TCU rests Omaha, Neb., the site of the 2014 College World Series.

The trip can either be a 10-hour car ride or a two-hour flight, according to Google Maps. 

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

After a wild regional with one of the longest college baseball games ever and an intense super regional that broke postseason attendance records twice, the TCU baseball team is headed to the College World Series.

Their first opponent for the Frogs (47-16, 17-7 Big 12) will be a familiar one. The Texas Tech Red Raiders (45-19, 14-10 Big 12) await the Horned Frogs in the first game, which is currently scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

“I wish it wasn’t a conference opponent because our league is so good,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

A Big 12 rival, Tech finds itself in a new environment. This is their program’s first appearance in the CWS ever.

As for TCU, they’ve got a little more experience, but not much.

This is only the second appearance in the CWS for the purple and white. The first came in 2010, when the Frogs were bounced by UCLA in the semifinals.

The Bruins would go on to lose to the University of South Carolina in the finals.

Looking at Texas Tech and TCU’s series this past season on paper won’t give away much. The Frogs and Red Raiders split four games this season.

“They’re very familiar with us,” Schlossnagle said. “We’re very familiar with them.”

TCU’s pair of victories came with shutout scores of 9-0 and 4-0. The Frogs’ two losses saw Tech score a combined 22 runs and TCU just four.

Both victories for TTU were prior to the Frogs’ late season run of 31 wins in 35 games.

Tech took down the University of Miami and the College of Charleston on their way to Omaha. Charleston represents a similar opponent to that of Pepperdine University as both came from smaller conferences and defeated big time opponents in the regional stage.

TCU and Texas Tech aren’t the only Big 12 teams remaining in the tournament, either. With the University of Texas also finding its way to Omaha, Neb., this year, one-third of the Big 12’s nine baseball teams have reached the pinnacle of college baseball.

The Horns have won the whole thing six times with their last title coming in 2005.

For those unfamiliar, the format of the tournament is similar to that of the regional round. Double elimination is in effect so two bad games could send the Frogs packing.

While TCU has relied on pitching and an “electric and historic” atmosphere in Lupton Stadium so far, they’ll face a neutral field next week. That's not necessarily a bad thing though as the Frogs are 11-2 in neutral site games this season.

In order for TCU fans to bring Lupton’s atmosphere to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, Frog fans will have to migrate north for a little over a week.

“It’s gonna be a whole heck of a lot more fun ballpark than Lubbock, Abilene or Fort Worth, I can promise you.” Schlossnagle said. “Even though I like playing here.”

Start your engines, TCU. The finish line is in sight.

Jordan Ray contributed to this story.  

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