June 4, 2012
Frogs Find a Way
By Sean Ryan
were high for TCU at the start of the college baseball season.
That’s what happens when you reach the Super Regionals two out
of three years and make your first appearance in Omaha.
But it hasn’t been easy for the Horned Frogs, who
started the year No. 11 in the CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Preseason Composite Poll and entered the College Station
Regional four wins shy of extending their streak of 40-win
seasons to six. They started the year without star Jantzen
Witte, who missed the first 20 games with a hip injury. Kevin
Cron, Brance Rivera and others missed time. And in his final
at-bat on Senior Day, Jason Coats tore his ACL.
“It’s been a grind all year,” coach Jim
Schlossnagle said Monday night.
The grind, however, will continue.
Preston Morrison and Justin Scharf split innings
on the mound, and Witte and Josh Elander homered as TCU
outlasted Ole Miss 7-4 to capture the College Station Regional.
The second-seeded Horned Frogs (40-20) will travel to UCLA in
the Super Regionals; the third-seeded Rebels finish 37-26.
Morrison, who pitched into the seventh inning of
Friday’s loss to Ole Miss, allowed three runs on seven hits in
4.1 innings in his second go-round with the Rebels. He handed
the ball to Justin Scharf, the Tournament Most Outstanding
Player who had two wins and a save in College Station. Scharf
(4-2) allowed one run on four hits in a career-best 4.2 innings
– the submariner appeared in four of the Frogs’ five games,
allowing one run in 8.1 innings.
“Justin Scharf was the story of the tournament,”
Schlossnagle said. “As long as you play defense behind him, he’s
going to get you out.”
TCU got to Monday’s winner-take-all game with Ole
Miss thanks in large part due to the splendid pitching of Stefan
Crichton, who tossed a complete game to eliminate Texas A&M
10-2, and Brandon Finnegan, who pitched into the eighth in
beating the Rebels 5-2.
Schlossnagle said he’s equally proud of this
Frogs edition and his previous Super Regional squads, even
though this run has been filled with adversity.
“As a coaching staff, we just felt like if we
could get everybody on the field at the same time, we could make
a run,” Schlossnagle said. “All that perseverance we’ve gone
through helped us this weekend.”
(photo courtesy of TCU Media Relations Office)