While TCU baseball may be playing on college baseball’s biggest stage for only the second time in school history, the team’s first opponent is anything but unfamiliar.
TCU (47-16, 17-7 Big 12) continues its postseason campaign Sunday afternoon when it meets up with conference rival Texas Tech (45-19, 14-10 Big 12) to open Horned Frog play in the College World Series.
“We’re looking forward to [seeing] who’s the better Texas team,” senior catcher Kyle Bacak said after Wednesday’s practice.
It’s a Lone Star State duel in Omaha, Neb.
The two teams have met four times this past season and split the series at two games apiece.
“They’re very familiar with us,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after his team’s win over Pepperdine Monday. “We’re very familiar with them.”
Tech took two-of-three from TCU in Fort Worth during March, but that was before the Frogs began their run of 32 wins in 36 games. During that run, TCU beat Tech 4-0 in Abilene on April 22.
The Frogs lead the all-time series 86-68-1. TCU also has a record of 18-6 against Tech under Schlossnagle.
While hitting has been the Red Raiders’ strength during the year, it’s the pitching that has brought them to Omaha for the first time in program history.
Tech currently boasts a national-best 0.65 ERA in six NCAA Tournament games.
In what looks to be a tournament defined by pitching, TCU sends Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Preston Morrison to the mound for the first game. Tech will use Chris Sadberry
Sadberry has an ERA of 3.17 and was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the sixth round.
TCU got a look at Sadberry on March 23, but couldn’t do much as Tech walked away with a 12-2 win. He pitched five innings and gave up one run that day.
As for Morrison, the junior comes into the game with a 1.32 ERA.
His only appearance against Tech this year resulted in a 10-2 loss. Morrison was yanked early when he gave up four runs in only two innings.
The game is at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., and TCU has been good at neutral site locations this year. The Frogs are 8-2 and have won six straight neutral site games coming into the CWS.
“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 [in Fort Worth].”
First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT) and can be viewed on ESPN2 and heard on KTCU 88.7 FM.
Jordan Ray contributed to this story.