Sorenson: CWS In Pictures – Day Four At The Ballpark
One team goes home, one team gets to rest.
Tuesday was the second day where we said goodbye to an elimination game victim. And for the second day in a row that victim is a stunner.
This time it’s Florida.
Yes, THAT team. The one that was an overwhelming favorite to win the national title, not just because the Gators were the No. 1 National Seed, but because they were the runaway favorite to be the No. 1 team in the preseason polls and rankings and spent most of the season at or very very near the top spot. Now, the Gators join the Miami Hurricanes in the exclusive club known as the two-and-done bunch. ACC, SEC… gone. 0-for-17.
I said it last night, this is not baseball’s equivalent of “March Madness.” The phrase “June Madness” does not fully describe this year’s post-season well enough. This is June Ridiculousness. This makes no sense. This is gravity deciding to work in reverse and let the chaos ensue.
If today tells us anything it’s that this is the most intriguing post-season in the modern history of our sport. Fresno State of 2008, move over. Sure there are no three-seeds or four-seeds here, there is still no way to have predicted the final six teams left playing college baseball would be THIS bunch.
With their winner’s bracket win over Coastal Carolina, the TCU Horned Frogs join Oklahoma State in the driver’s seat to their respective brackets. Both teams advance to Friday to await the survivors of the knock-down, drag-out loser’s bracket games.
While we wait for that chaos to unfold, here are a few images from Texas Tech’s 3-2 elimination of Florida and TCU’s 6-1 win over Coastal Carolina.
Peter Alonso loses control of his bat. Don’t worry, it didn’t hit anybody as it helicoptered into the stands.
Florida left-fielder Danny Reyes finds the outfield fence to be quit unmovable on Eric Gutierrez’s home run.
Jonathan India caught a knee to the head when sliding into second base early in the game.
This errant throw to Peter Alonso at first base led to what would be the game-winning run for the Red Raiders.
Two errors on one play led to Tyler Neslony crossing the plate in the top of the ninth inning. And that run was necessary as it proved to be the game-decider thanks to Peter Alonso’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
India tried to stretch his last at-bat into a double but was nabbed at second thanks to a great throw from left fielder Tyler Neslony.
Another angle of the David Savage out call on a disbelieving Jonathan India.
The final huddle.Coach Kevin O’Sullivan addresses his downtrodden troops immediately after the loss to Texas Tech.
Love this scene. Even after suffering a difficult final loss and all his teammates passing by him, A.J. Puk stopped to sign three baseballs for the adoring fans.
Yes, this was the on-field temperature in the middle of the Texas Tech-Florida game.
TCU lumberjack Luken Baker fist bumps the Lucky Frog Oar… not that he needed any luck with his powerful home run swing and all.
Lanky and effective, Frogs starter Brian Howard did his best Ichabod Crane impersonation in pitching into the sixth inning and holding the potent Chanticleers to just six hits and one run.
Meanwhile, Coastal starter Alex Cunningham admitted this was his “worst outing of the year” and didn’t pitch well in dropping to 9-4 on the season.
When TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle went out to the mound to replace Brian Holland, he was met with some “Are you kidding me?” eyes.
But then Frogs reliever Ryan Burnette came on to toss the remaining 3.1 innings without giving up a single hit. Strong man.
Anthony Marks was a firestarter from his leadoff spot as usual, infusing the team with energy.
But teammate Zach Remillard, who came in hitting .350-19-71, had just one harmless hit and also committed two errors from his third base position.
Ack! The usually-potent outfield combination of Anthony Marks, Billy Cooke and Connor Owings went a combined 0-for-10 vs. the Horned Frogs. That prompted coach Gary Gilmore to comment in the post-game “I’m still waiting for us to hit like we have been all season while we’re here.”
Michael Landestoy lets out a primal scream after recording a ninth-inning, RBI triple to salt the game away.
… that got the TCU dugout fired up, led by Mason Hesse and his Frog mates.
Not even the Coastal Carolina rally-monkey could help the Chanticleer cause by that point as TCU had the game in hand in the ninth inning.