Baseball

College World Series Preview and Game Thread: TCU vs. Texas Tech

Texas Tech and TCU each play their first game in the College World Series.

College World Series

Dates: Friday, June 19th
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (46-18, 19-5)
Bad Guys: TCU Horned Frogs (47-16, 15-9)
Location: Ameritrade Park | Omaha, Nebraska
Game Notes: Preview | PDF
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates

When Texas Tech played TCU during the season, I always thought that TCU was the better team. Statistically, they were better. Texas Tech was playing in Ft. Worth. And perhaps it was just perception overall, TCU was picked to be the best team in the Big 12 and then Texas Tech won two of three from the Horned Frogs. Texas Tech would go on to continue their Big 12 dominance and that series seemed to wake up TCU and I’m sure they have been chomping at the bit to exact a bit of revenge.

I do think that TCU does play with that sort of attitude. I tend to wonder how and why these baseball teams are the way that they are, and knowing how Tim Tadlock has been the head coach, it starts at the top. And make no mistake, TCU is a talented team, right next to Texas Tech, TCU has a similar number of all-conference performers.

* LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes that Steven Gingery’s calm demeanor could help him against TCU (and probably that left hand):

“Cali definitely has that Southern California calmness about him,” Martin said. “I’m from West Texas and Southern California is probably the complete opposite. We all love him to death. He’s funny and really laid-back for sure.”

Gingery, the usual Saturday starter for Texas Tech throughout the season, earned the start on the mound for the Red Raiders in their first game in the College World Series against TCU (Sunday, 2 p.m.). Friday afternoon in the clubhouse when he spoke of his excitement when he was told the news, there’s no way you could have known his enthusiasm based on his facial expression.

There was Cali, speaking about starting in Omaha — something that not many baseball players get to do — with an expression like he was just living any other day.

“I’m just ready to go whenever,” Gingery said. “I think all of our pitchers can go out there and do the job. I’m really excited for this opportunity.”

* FWST’s Carlos Mendez writes about the friendly relationship betwen Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock and TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle:

It took about 30 seconds for Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock to get a smile out of Jim Schlossnagle.

That’s about right for those two.

“I consider us great friends, for sure,” Schlossnagle said.

The TCU coach could be seen smiling or shaking his head regularly any time Tadlock spoke during a press conference Friday at the College World Series featuring the coaches of the four teams playing Sunday, including Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore, in his rookie visit, and Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan, in his fifth.

It started with Tadlock’s opening statement:

“Got some great staffs with these guys, great programs that do a good job. I think we all caught a glimpse of Coach Gilmore’s grand slam down there. It was a really neat moment for his program. The other two guys, kind old hat for them, and we’ll sit up here and try to learn something from them.”

* LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes that TCU is not the same team they were when Texas Tech played the Horned Frogs:

Jim Schlossnagle wasn’t happy with his pitching staff after TCU dropped a home series to Texas Tech toward the end of the regular season.

Despite coming back to win the second game 13-6, the Horned Frogs dropped both games Friday, 7-3, and Sunday, 3-1.

“I didn’t think we were living up to the tradition that we’ve had of pitching and at least dominating, throwing strikes and giving us a chance,” Schlossnagle said.

Two weeks since that Sunday afternoon loss, the Horned Frogs have been on a tear. TCU has done so by solid performances in all three phases of the game — .297 batting average, 2.74 earned-run average and .987 fielding percentage. During that span, Luken Baker leads all hitters with a .409 average, six home runs and 16 RBIs.

* FWST’s Carlos Mendez writes that the TCU baseball brand has already won:

Win or lose last weekend in College Station, TCU had already won.

Its baseball team was on prime-time TV for three straight nights, playing on ESPN or ESPN2, at an ideal time for viewers who had been outside all day and were ready to settle in with a game.

“Spectacular,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “You can’t buy that publicity and the exciting way we’re playing.”

The Horned Frogs won that series against the Aggies two games to one and advanced to the sport’s most visible event — the College World Series — further elevating one of the two sports they’re best known for.

“I tell everyone, ‘The enterprise is in football, the brand is in baseball,’ ” Del Conte said. “It just goes hand-in-hand.”

* MRT’s Oscar LeRoy writes that former Texas Tech baseballers Hunter Redman and Bryant Burleson are proud of the team in Omaha:

Redman, who calls Tadlock “Old Country”, said his former head coach is like a father to him.
“I can’t say enough about Coach Tadlock and he’s got one of the best staffs in the country,” said Redman, who is currently playing pro ball with the Single-A Tri-City Red Devils in the San Diego Padres organization. “He’s going to get the guys to be a contender each and every year. He just lets the guys play. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll get on you but he lets you have fun, he lets you play the game. He relies on you to execute and do your job. He’s always even keel, it doesn’t matter if we’re up by 10 or down by 10. He just cares so much about the players and he treated us like sons.”
Burleson also spoke highly of Tadlock.
“Not only is he a great coach but a great man and a special person to lead this team,” Burleson said. “I’m really excited for the whole coaching staff, the players and the especially the senior class. I am really looking forward to watching them and really want them to do well.”

* D1Baseball previews each team as if they were looking at them using major league grades:

Remember when the Red Raiders made the trek to Omaha two years ago? Well, guess what? The Raiders have several players from that team still on this year’s CWS club. Though there’s some definite inexperience in the weekend rotation with youngsters Davis Martin and Steven Gingery leading the way, the lineup is loaded with veterans including Gutierrez, Smith, Neslony, Gardner and others. The experience in this lineup should outweigh the butterflies some arms might have.

* Baseball America looks at the teams in the second bracket, which includes Texas Tech and TCU:

How They Win: Texas Tech was the class of the Big 12 during the regular season and boasts a deep lineup. All-American first baseman Eric Gutierrez (.326/.458/.571, 12 HR) is one of several players who brings CWS experience from the Red Raiders’ trip to Omaha two years ago. Texas Tech is averaging more than seven runs per game this season, which has helped ease the pressure on its young pitchers. They’ll need that offensive support in Omaha, where Davis and Gingery will be starting the biggest games of their careers.

Stats

TEXAS TECH
TCU
Avg .294 .304
OBP .400 .398
SLG .450 .457
ERA 4.16 3.17
OAvg .260 .242
SO/9 6.81 8.10
BB/9 3.85 2.94
FLD% .975 .975

Probable Starters:

Game 1: Sunday, June 19th @ 2:00 pm
Texas Tech Starting Pitcher: LHP Steven Gingery (4-2, 3.25)
TCU Starting Pitcher: RHP Jared Janczak (7-3, 2.40)
Final Score & Box Score:

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