- Created on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 00:46
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
After many runs scored and too many strikes thrown to count the Elite 8 has been decided and is headed to Omaha with the real competition set to begin.
Of the 8 teams progressing to the College World Series Elite 8, seven of them are #1 seeds including the #1 from the Forth Worth regional bracket, the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University.
TCU has been one of the better teams in the nation all season. When the regular season ended towards the end of May, the Horned Frogs were ranked in the top 10 of the nation (#8 in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches’ Poll with 550 points) with a record of 43-11.
The journey began on June 5th with a dominant performance by the Horned Frogs against the Lamar Cardinals 16-3. Sophomore pitcher Kyle Winkler only allowed one run on seven hits over seven innings, but the real story was the offensive explosion, 17 hits.
Another strong pitching performance helped propel the Horned Frogs to victory over Arizona June 6th, but it was the performance of Joe Weik that really did the trick. The junior infielder had four hits on the day with two homeruns to knock in a career high 6 RBIs as TCU won 11-5.
It took a win over another team from Texas, the Baylor Bears to break out of the regional bracket. Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Steven Maxwell shut the Bears offense out in 8 innings only allowing 3 hits and striking out 8 to improve his season record to 11-1 as TCU advanced with a 9-0 win.
The Horned Frogs would have their hands full in the Super Regional with the #1 ranked Texas Longhorns (according to the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches’ Poll). The Longhorns had dominated the rankings for most of the season on the way to winning 46 and losing 8, but did not do so well in the Big XII tournament which was won by the Texas A&M Aggies.
Freshman Matt Purke faced off against the Longhorns in the first game June 11th. The big stage did not faze the Freshman Pitcher of the Year as he struck out 11 to lead TCU to a 3-1 victory of the best of 3 series.
The next day, with elimination on the line, the Longhorns showed why they have been ranked #1 in the nation by overpowering the error prone Horned Frogs. Taylor Jungmann, who had eliminated TCU in the Super Regional last season with a gem of a game, pitched another one going 8 1/3 innings with 9 strikeouts and only allowing 6 hits.
It was a day for the pitchers in the decisive Game 3 on Sunday. Both TCU starter Kyle Winkler and Texas starter Brandon Workman held the other team’s offense scoreless through four innings before the Horned Frogs would score the game’s first run in the 5th.
When Texas closer Chance Ruffin entered the game it should have spelled the end for the TCU offense. In close to 60 innings he had only allowed 4 runs. Sunday would not be his day however, as the Horned Frogs would hit two homeruns off the closer to win the game 4-1.
This will be the first time that TCU has progressed to this point in the College World Series; they play Florida State on Saturday at 2pm at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.