When Texas A&M walked away from a 15-inning loss to TCU three months ago, there was no expectation of another meeting with the Horned Frogs.
And yet, there is a chance for it to happen at the College World Series.
The Aggies and Frogs are in the same bracket, so they could play as soon as Tuesday if they both win or both lose on Sunday. They may yet have a chance in a game after that, even if one team winds up on the winners side and the other on the elimination side.
“It’s crazy how it works,” A&M pitcher Brigham Hill said.
The teams have played each of the past three years, with TCU winning Super Regionals in three games in Fort Worth in 2015, three games in College Station in 2016 and a single game at a Shriners College Classic in Houston in March – in 15 innings, no less, after a five-run TCU ninth inning tied the game.
“It’s always a zoo of a matchup every time we play them,” A&M second baseman Braden Shewmake said, echoing a quote from TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle after this year’s game.
Texas A&M opens at 1 p.m. Sunday against Louisville, one of the tournament favorites. TCU plays at 6 p.m. Sunday against Florida. The losers of those teams play an elimination game at 1 Tuesday, and the winners play at 6 for a spot in the semifinals.
Aggies coach Rob Childress said he hasn’t addressed a potential rematch.
“I know there was a moment our players realized that,” he said. “I’m sure they realized it at some point when they were celebrating winning the Super Regional. We’ve had some barnburners with TCU the last two or three years. If we do match up with them again, I would expect the same.”
A&M second baseman Braden Shewmake said this year’s loss to the Frogs did not leave the Aggies obsessed. Instead, it encouraged them.
“It wasn’t that we hoped we’d see them again or hoped we never see them again,” he said. “We just knew we could play with anybody in the country at that point. We knew they’re an extremely good club with extremely good talent. So we knew we could play with anybody in the country. We didn’t know if we were going to run across them again.”
How would the Horned Frogs feel?
“That would be interesting, because they’re a team that was basically on the edge of getting into the tournament and they’ve played well,” outfielder Austen Wade said. “Things have really clicked for them since we played at the beginning of the year. That would be an intriguing, interesting matchup. Good team, good ballplayers. It’d be interesting to have two Texas teams go at it up there.”