The one question I had coming into today was whether the pressure of playing at Rosenblatt Stadium for the first time in school history would affect the TCU Horned Frogs. The early answer on Saturday was yes after a Jantzen White error in the top of the first inning cost them a run but the Horned Frogs bounced right back in the bottom of the first inning with a five huge runs. Jason Coats had an important hit in the inning two run double down the left field line to give the Horned Frogs the 2-1 lead before they tacked on three more runs in the frame.
After that strong start by the TCU offense, they cruised to the 8-1 behind the strong starting pitching of Matt Purke. He went seven innings while allowing only four hits and one unearned run while walking four batters who would not come back to haunt him. He was dominate as he struck out seven Seminoles by spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate and using his breaking ball to keep the Seminoles batters off balance.
Purke stated the following about his season “No, it’s hard to do in any league. I mean, it’s a true testament to our guys. I mean, I go out and throw. But they’re behind me. They play defense. They hit the ball. I mean, anything that any of us get individually is all about our team, because I mean we’re a team on and off the field. When one guy has success, we all have success. That’s how we like to play.”
TCU scored a single run in the third inning on a squeeze play from Brance Rivera that brought home Jantzen White from third to extend the TCU lead to 6-1. TCU would score another single run in the fourth inning with a Bryan Holaday homer over the left field fence to bring the lead to 7-1.
The biggest disappointment in the game was from Sean Gilmartin who lasted only three innings while giving up eight hits and six runs (all earned) while walking three batters and only striking out one batter. Even though GiIlmartin has struggled this season with a 9-7 record and a 4.89 ERA, the Seminoles needed a good outing from him. I have now seen Sean pitch three times this season with him having an outstanding outing against Oregon and got bombed by Boston College in a similar type performance. I highly questioned why Coach Martin left him in there for so long with him obviously struggling.
TCU’s Bryan Holiday would welcome Hunter Scantling to the game with a homer over the left field fence to bring the Horned Frog lead to 7-1. Scantling would settle down though as he went two strong innings with that homer being the only hit while he struck out four batters.
Coach Schlossnagle stated the following about Holiday “He’s the straw that stirs the drink of our entire program. And it’s like having a great quarterback. Everything’s under control. The best thing you can do as a coach, you talk about winning coach of the year, when your very, very best player is your very, very hardest worker and your leader, that’s when you have a chance to have a great season.“
TCU would score another run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Jason Coats single to right field which brought the lead to 8-1 for the first CWS victory in school history.
Coach Martin was very complimentary about the Horned Frogs by saying “They’re everything that I saw when I saw them play Texas on television. Well coached, solid defense, outstanding pitching. They’re everything I thought they were, which I feel they deserve to be in Omaha. They earned it. And they went out today and whipped us.”