TCU bound for College World Series following win


Texas Christian University is College World Series bound for the fourth consecutive year.

The Horned Frogs advanced to the CWS after routing Missouri State, 8-1, in the Fort Worth Super Regional on Sunday evening at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.

The College World Series begins June 17 and runs through June 27 or 28 in Omaha.

It is TCU’s fifth trip to the College World Series in eight years. The Horned Frogs qualified in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and again this year.

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Though he’s watched his teams qualify regularly in recent years, TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said earning a CWS berth is one difficult task.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I think it’s one of the hardest things to do in all of college sports.”

The Horned Frogs advanced the 2017 Omaha championships after winning the NCAA Fort Worth Super Regional on Saturday and Sunday at home. TCU faced Missouri State in a best-of-three series. The Horned Frogs swept the Bears 2-0.

TCU edged Missouri State 3-2 in a hard fought game on Saturday. In that bout, TCU rallied in the eighth inning as junior catcher Evan Skoug hit a two-run go ahead home run.

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But in Game Two on Sunday, TCU never trailed although the two teams were tied at the end of the first inning.

TCU scored the game’s first run in the first inning when freshman designated hitter Zach Humpheys scored from senior second baseman Cam Warner’s single to center field. Missouri State snapped back in the bottom of the third when center fielder Hunter Steinmetz hit a home run.

TCU took a 2-1 lead when senior third baseman Elliott Barzilli doubled down the left field line. Center fielder Nolan Brown ran in from first base and scored and the Horned Frogs regained the lead after two innings.

The Horned Frogs never trailed after taking the one run lead.

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In the third inning, TCU took a commanding lead when Skoug popped a two-run homer to right field. He and freshman Zach Humphreys, who had singled on a toward-third-base bunt, scored to put the Horned Frogs up 4-1.

Skoug commanded big-time respect after hitting two-run home runs in back-to-back Super Regional games. Experts say he likely will be a pick in this week’s Major League Baseball draft.

During Sunday’s game against Missouri State, TCU added another run in the sixth inning when the bases were loaded. Senior short stop Ryan Merrill, who was on third, scored an unearned run when Skoug was walked. After six innings, TCU led 5-1.

TCU’s final scoring came in the ninth inning. The Horned Frogs went up 8-1 when senior third baseman Elliott Barzilli hit a three-run homer.

After winning the Fort Worth Super Regional, TCU improved to 47-16. Missouri State finished the year at 43-20.