TCU had six stellar innings from Redshirt Sophomore Jared Janczak en route to the victory over the Nittany Lions. Janczak faced the minimum number of batters through six innings before losing his control in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs after starting the inning with a hit batter and a walk.
“It kind of felt like a regional,” Janczak said. “The atmosphere was great. The fans were awesome.”
Janczak’s not new to the big stage after making pivotal starts throughout the 2016 postseason. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said Janczak’s shaky seventh could be attributed to sitting through two pitching changes in the bottom of the sixth.
“Janczak I thought was outstanding,” Schlossnagle said. “He was pitching ahead in the count, just throwing quality pitches at the bottom of the strike zone.”
The scoring got started for the Frogs in the second inning when Nolan Brown followed a Josh Watson walk with a double down the left field line. An errant throw in from the outfield allowed Watson to score and Brown to advance to third. Cam Warner drove in the second run for TCU on a fielder’s choice.
PSU’s lone hit of the first six innings came with one out in the fourth when third baseman Connor Klemann doubled into the right center gap. Klemann was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple on a fantastic relay from Brown to Warner to Elliott Barzilli.
TCU doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth without having the ball leave the infield. A bases loaded RBI fielder’s choice from Cam Warner followed by a passed ball scoring Luken Baker put the Frogs ahead 4-0.
Penn State’s starter Sal Biasi went just 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on 1 hit while walking four and striking out seven.
The Horned Frog’s fifth and sixth runs came in the sixth inning on a Connor Wanhanen two out, two run single to center. The single was TCU’s second and final hit of the night.
Coming off a 2016 season in which Wanhanen hit just .231, Schlossnagle was happy to see Wanhanen start the new season on a high note.
“Wanhanen didn’t have the season he wanted so I was glad to see Connor get that hit, get some confidence.”
Wanhanen was glad that the season was finally here after seven months of hard work since TCU’s trip to Omaha.
“It was great to be back out here. We’re all really excited,” said Wanhanen. “This group of guys is something special.”
After Janczak loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, Schlossnagle called on Sophomore Sean Wymer. Wymer allowed all three inherited runners to score on two fielder’s choices and a bloop single to left field. A ground ball to Barzilli left two stranded on base and held TCU’s lead at three. Janczak went 6+ innings of two hit, six strikeout ball picking up win number one of the season.
Wymer came back out for the eighth inning retiring the Nittany Lions in 1-2-3 fashion with two strikeouts. Although he allowed the three inherited runners to score in the seventh, Wymer gave up no runs of his own on one hit and three strikeouts.
The Frogs went quietly in the bottom half of the eighth, taking a 6-3 lead into the ninth.
Sophomore standout closer Durbin Feltman opened the ninth with an electrifying 97 MPH strike that set the tone for a smooth nine pitch inning. Feltman threw all strikes in a three-up-three-down save, recording one strikeout.
The team will return to the diamond on Saturday as Brian Howard takes the mound against PSU. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.