Rogers: TCU Doesn’t Rebuild, It ReloadsColumns
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — There’s no such thing as a rebuilding year at TCU.
After having one of the nation’s elite teams in 2015 and falling just short of winning the program’s national title, conventional wisdom, at least at the time, suggested coach Jim Schlossnagle’s program might be primed for at least some sort of step back in 2016.
Not a chance.
Sure, the Horned Frogs had some up and down moments in the middle of the season, finding a way to lose a series at Texas, while also losing series to Big 12 counterparts Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, both teams, by the way, who also are heading to the College World Series later this week. But, the Horned Frogs stayed the course and finished the regular season strong, and played well in the Big 12 tournament to earn a regional host site.
From there, suddenly this younger TCU team felt a wave of confidence, dominating the Fort Worth Regional before hitting the road this weekend to face a veteran Texas A&M team in a rematch taking place in one of the more hostile environments in college baseball.
Tough chore, sure. But, not a problem for these Horned Frogs, as junior righthander Brian Howard tossed one of the most impressive games of his career in a 4-1 win over the Aggies to advance to Omaha for the whopping third-straight season.
“It’s really incredible, and it just shows the pedigree of our program, a true program,” Schlossnagle said. “That doesn’t mean that teams like a Louisville or A&M didn’t have that program, but there’s an expectation and great leadership here with guys like Brian Howard and Evan Skoug. They were doing some unbelievable things in the dugout in the eighth and ninth innings to help our guys out. It’s just a great joy to see as a coach. It’s a lot of fun to watch that evolution from class to class.”
While redshirt freshman righthander Jared Janczak started the Frogs on the right foot in the series opener against the Aggies, this team scuffled a little as the Aggies came out blazing hot in Game Two on Saturday. With that, the Horned Frogs were more than happy with placing the season on the shoulders of tall 6-foot-9, 185-pounder, Brian Howard. Howard had some serious momentum after putting together one of his best outings of the year last weekend against Arizona State, striking out nine, not walking anyone and allowing just a run in eight innings.
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