After another long day of waiting, Jared Janczak made Sunday night go by pretty fast for TCU.
The sophomore right-hander struck out six and allowed a run in eight innings, and Evan Skoug doubled for an RBI in a three-run third inning as TCU got past Virginia 5-1 in a winners bracket game at the Fort Worth Regional.
Before giving up an eighth-inning run, Janczak (9-0) stretched his scoreless streak to 15 innings over three starts since returning from a shoulder strain that caused him to miss four weeks.
His performance put the Horned Frogs (44-16) in the regional final with two chances to win the championship. They’ll play at 7 p.m. Monday at Lupton Stadium against the winner of a 2 p.m. elimination game between Virginia (43-15) and Dallas Baptist (41-21).
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If necessary, a second championship game will be played Tuesday at a time to be announced. TCU will be bidding for its fourth consecutive home regional championship and a spot in the Super Regional round.
“It’s just another outstanding performance from him,” Skoug said of Janczak, who entered the ninth inning at 87 pitches. “He’s amazing. It makes it real easy back there for me when he’s going like that. It’s really fun because he’s uptempo, he gets the crowd into it. It’s got to be one of his top three performances of the year for him.”
Feltman issued a leadoff walk in the ninth inning, blaming himself for being “a little overamped.” Schlossnagle removed him after another wide pitch to the next batter, and Durbin Feltman entered to record his nation-leading 17th save, striking out the side after allowing the walk on the inherited 1-0 count.
“The scouting report on them was they were aggressive hitters,” Janczak said. “Knowing that, for me, the way I pitch, I rely on my movement and deception to get guys out, so I was using their aggressiveness against them to get quick outs.”
Skoug’s double in the third inning put TCU ahead 3-0, and a throwing error by shortstop Ernie Clement let another run score for a 4-0 lead. Earlier in the inning, a fielding error at second resulted in an unturned double play that allowed a run to score.
Connor Wanhanen’s ground ball RBI gave TCU a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Zach Humphreys drove in a run in the ninth with a ground ball to make it 5-1.
The game had a 9:04 p.m. start after being scheduled for a 4:04 start. The six-hour delay was because of a third day of rain in Fort Worth that has resulted in delays or postponements for every game so far and has pushed a potential Game 7 in the tournament to Tuesday.
Skoug said the players took in Sunday’s delay by leaving the stadium, getting a bite and/or a nap and visiting with their families.
Janczak said that worked for him.
“I was antsy all weekend, especially with that first delay and waiting another day,” he said. “I just reset myself, like it was a completely new day. Got the food that I eat, took a quick nap and rolled back to the field.”