Responding With A VengeanceColumns
FORT WORTH, Texas — Moments like Saturday afternoon are why TCU righthander Brian Howard decided to return to Fort Worth for his senior season, despite getting drafted by the Houston Astros last summer.
Howard entered the Texas series with a chip on his shoulder and a need for redemption. As a veteran for the Horned Frogs and one who finished last season on such a high note, he was expected to be a dominant force throughout the 2017 campaign. But things hadn’t gone as planned before his start against the Longhorns. He had a 5.43 ERA in 54.2 innings and was coming off the worst start of his career at Texas Tech last weekend. There, he allowed seven runs on five hits and walked three batters in just two innings. The result? The Frogs left Lubbock after receiving the ultimate gut punch in a 21-3 loss on national television.
That result and Howard’s showing in that contest seemed like ancient history on Saturday, as we saw a vintage performance from the senior on the way to a huge series-clinching 8-2 win over the Longhorns.
“That game [Texas Tech] was a tough one for me and I wasn’t feeling too good after that one. That was a pretty big game for us and for me to go out there and pitch like that, it didn’t feel very good,” Howard said. “I needed today for myself, team and I think my coaches needed to see something like that, too.
“Games like today are why I came back for another season,” he continued. “I haven’t been having the senior year that I had envisioned, but that’s not what this is all about to me. My ERA is what it is and from here on out I’m going to all about attacking hitters and making pitches. I don’t really care what the numbers next to my name on the scoreboard say. I’m having fun with my team and college baseball is the greatest part of my life.”
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