CWS: Day Seven In Pictures
College World Series
The Rise of the Purples.
Well it looks like we’re going to have baseball on the second Saturday of the College World Series.
In fact, make that two games. LSU and TCU, both purple and both with three descriptive letters to their name, staved off elimination on Friday with wins over Oregon State and Florida respectively.
LSU rode the purple and golden arm of ace stud Alex Lange to subdue the Beavers 3-1. The Frogs used a steady attack to post runs in four different innings on the way to a resounding 9-2 win over the once invincible Gators. Or so they seemed.
As you probably read in Kendall Rogers’ column (https://d1baseball.com/college-world-series/lsus-lange-adds-legend-status/), Lange was as good as he’s been all season, holding the Beavers to two hits over 7.1 innings. And not to pat my own back *too* much, but any radio show I went on in the last two days I said that if Alex Lange was pitching up to his old self, the Tigers had a shot. He was indeed. And then some.
Some yearlings got the offense going, led by Zach Watson’s 3-for-3 stint and Josh Smith’s 2-for-4, 2RBI performance. Because of that, LSU lives to fight another day.
For TCU, some old vets chipped in with leadoff man Austen Wade going 2-for-5 with 2RBI and Evan Skoug getting a 2-for-5, 3RBI night. Be sure to check out Aaron Fitt’s write-up from the night game… https://d1baseball.com/college-world-series/offensive-stars-break-out-tcu/
TCU put up two runs in each of the third and fourth innings and then never let the Gators back into it. Florida did have an interesting outing from starter Jackson Kowar, who notched a career-high 11 strikeouts, but gave up four runs in 5.0 innings of work to take the loss.
The LSU win over Oregon State snapped the Beavers’ 23-game win streak, which stretched all the way back to April 29th.
The wins for LSU and TCU also marks the second straight year where the teams that entered the day at 2-0 ended up losing, forcing a pair of games on Saturday.
Here are some of the images from the day…
LSU – 3
Oregon State – 1
In one of the best showdowns of the 2017 CWS, Alex Lange struck out All American slugger K.J. Harrison with the bases loaded in the third inning.
Tiger freshman Josh Smith went 2-for-4 including an RBI single and a solo home run.
Zach Watson, another Tiger freshman, spearheaded the LSU offense, going 3-for-3 with a walk.
OSU starter Jake Thompson pitched respectably, tossing into the seventh inning, giving up three runs and six hits. Still, he got labeled with his first loss of the season, dropping to 14-1.
Zack Hess, another frosh, picked up his fourth save of the season with 1.2 innings of 0-hit, 0-run work. That, and he has these monstrously scary eyes when he throws the ball. So imagine seeing his glare, followed by a 98-mile per hour heater heading straight toward your head.
Nobody in the Beaver dugout was scary enough to bring down LSU today… yes, not even the one with the scary eyes.
LSU is flying high after handing the Beavs just their fifth loss of the entire season. By the way, OSU has yet to lose two straight games this season.
Alex Lange, the man with the purple and golden arm, gave LSU just what it needed to pull out a win and extend their bracket vs. Oregon State.
TCU – 9
Florida – 2
All Hail the King… Frog flinger Charles King picked up his first win of the season with 3.1 innings of 1-hit, 0-run work.
Omaha native Ryan Merrill rounds third on his way to the dish, giving TCU a lead that the Frogs would not give up. And yes, scoring is fun, as you can tell from the big smile on Merrill’s face as he heads toward home.
Freshman Zach Humphreys collected two RBI, including a double and two walks.
Jackson Kowar had one of the more bizarre outings in CWS history, striking out seven of the first eight batters he faced. Kower would only last 5.0 innings, giving up six hits and four runs, despite all the strikeouts. As TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said in the post-game press conference, “I started wondering if anyone had ever struck out 20 batters in a College World Series game?”
Mike Rivera had one of the few bright spots for the Gators, slamming a solo home run in the third inning.
Josh Watson gets the hero treatment after scoring a run, as part of a 2-for-3 outing with a pair of RBI, both of which came up after he slammed a fourth-inning triple.
TCU had the good fortune of having a lucky purple lizard resting on top of their hats.
“Hey, did you hear that coach is going to buy us all ice cream if we win tonight?!”
TCU not only extends its season another day to take on Florida, but the Frogs also earned win No. 50 on the season. “A great accomplishment” according to head coach Jim Schossnagle.
After coming through the battle unscathed, Frogs catcher Evan Skoug takes time to autograph some hats and baseballs from the Frog bench.
Home plate umpire Steve Mattingly has one of the better ring-up calls in college baseball. With so many strikeouts peppered throughout this matchup, I got to see his ring-up call quite a bit.