College Sports

June 11, 2014

TCU’s road to Omaha took off in April with thrilling turns along the way

TCU began to surge after starting the season 15-11 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12.

TCU’s road to Omaha didn’t really pick up speed until the Horned Frogs were staring at a 15-11 record on March 30, including a 2-4 start in the Big 12. Since then, TCU has won 32 of 36 games, including 4-0 at the Big 12 tournament to win the school’s first team title in any sport in the league.

In the two and a half months since the turnaround, TCU’s pitching has been the best in the nation and the offense has scratched and clawed its way to runs, often when the chips were down. Here’s a look at seven turning points on the Frogs’ return road to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. TCU (47-16) opens against Texas Tech (45-19) at 2 p.m. Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park.

Seven key turns on TCU’s road to Omaha

March 24: TCU had just lost two of three at home to Texas Tech. Pitchers Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison held a staff-only meeting to refocus Frogs pitchers on attacking hitters.

April 4: Down 3-1 to West Virginia in the bottom of the ninth, TCU rallied for three runs to win 4-3 and prevent a 2-5 start in the Big 12. The Frogs swept the series to kick-start their surge.

April 17: Brandon Finnegan struck out 11 and held Texas to four hits in eight innings as TCU took the first of a three-game sweep in Austin. Frogs pitchers held the Horns to one run in three games and Riley Ferrell earned three saves.

May 4: Trailing 7-4 in the fifth, TCU exploded for 17 runs in two innings to run-rule Kansas State 21-7 and sweep the series. Garrett Crain, Dylan Fitzgerald and Keaton Jones each had two hits in the 10-run sixth.

May 25: Freshman Tyler Alexander threw his first complete game to lead TCU to the Big 12 tournament championship against Oklahoma State. Alexander allowed one run on four hits and Jerrick Suiter and Fitzgerald each had two RBIs.

May 31-June 1: Boomer White singled to left field to score Keaton Jones to give TCU 3-2 win over Sam Houston State in the 22nd inning of the Fort Worth Regional. It was White’s second game-winner in the final inning in two nights.

June 9: Dylan Fitzgerald doubled in the tying run and Jerrick Suiter scored on a suicide squeeze laid down by Kyle Bacak as the Frogs scored twice in the ninth inning to beat Pepperdine and advance to the CWS.

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