The players and head coach Jim Schlossnagle repeated the refrain, “We believe we can still win this thing.”
Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Vanderbilt set up a rematch between the Frogs and the Louisiana State University Tigers. The loser goes home.
Senior shortstop Keaton Jones said the team’s focus isn’t on the ‘elimination’ part of the game.
“I haven’t really thought about it.” Jones said. “For us, we’re not really thinking about that. We’re just going to play our own game and just play TCU brand of baseball.”
One of the keys to the Frog’s success in the NCAA Tournament thus far has been their deep, experienced and talented bullpen.
“We feel like we matchup really good with the other teams as far as pitching depth,” said relief pitcher Trey Teakell.
“I think we have the No. 2 ERA in the country or something, so that speaks for itself,” he said. “But we’re taking it as if we got to win one game. We’re locked and loaded in the bullpen. We’re ready to go.”
While TCU’s bullpen has been relatively consistent during the NCAA Tournament, the hitting hasn’t always been present. In TCU’s loss to Vanderbilt, the Frogs went 3-15 with runners on base and 0-9 with runners in scoring position.
Schlossnagle said the Horned Frogs put together some nice at bats, but were just not able to get the clutch hit against Vanderbilt.
“It’s not as much to do about our offense, it‘s about how well they pitched,” said Schlossnagle.
Tonight, the Frogs will face their third left-handed starter in Omaha when LSU’s Zac Person, (2-0) takes the mound.
Person’s only start came two months ago pitched three innings against Auburn. Schlossnagle said a lefty, especially one who works quick on the mound, can make it harder for the Frogs to steal bases.
“When they’re quick like that, then they’re almost like a right-hander,” Schlossnagle. You can hit-and-run and do some other things but it makes it tougher–there’s no doubt about that.”
The Frogs beat LSU, 10-3, in their first matchup in the CWS. When asked what it will take to win tonight, Schlossnagle said his team just has to do what they have done all year.
“We’ll just do the same thing as anybody else,” he said. “You have to get good pitching, make the routine play and make timely hits, that’s the bottom line to all these games.”