“For the future of our team and our program, I want Nick to have a chance to pitch in this kind of environment,” Schlossnagle said before the Horned Frogs’ Super Regional matchup with Missouri State.
The elimination game will feature a matchup of All-American freshman left-handers with Louisville starting Nick Bennett, a freshman Perfect Game All-American who went 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA in the regular season for the Cardinals. Louisville is 12-0 in games started by Bennett.
Lodolo, the highest Major League draft pick from last year not to sign professionally, started 14 games and made one relief appearance in the regular season. He went 5-1 with a 4.28 ERA, earning an All-American nod from Collegiate Baseball. Lodolo pitched a perfect eighth inning Sunday against Florida.
Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell predicted his team would face Lodolo after losing to Florida Tuesday night, setting up a Thursday night matchup with the Horned Frogs.
“I’m assuming we’re facing the highest draft pick that went to college last year, and it’s a great opportunity,” McDonnell said Tuesday in reference to Lodolo being selected 41st overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2016 MLB draft but choosing instead to come to TCU.
Schlossnagle thought about starting senior right-hander Mitchell Traver, but he will likely start the Friday game in a national semifinal against Florida if the Horned Frogs defeat Louisville Thursday.
First pitch between TCU and Louisville is at 7 Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.