TCU had a plan against Florida right-hander Alex Faedo.
It just didn’t get very far against the first-round Major League draft pick in a 3-0 loss to the Gators on Sunday night at the College World Series.
“Having a plan and executing against a great pitcher are two different things,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It was his night, no question.”
The Horned Frogs managed only two hits and two walks in seven innings against Faedo, losing their opener in Omaha for the first time in five trips.
“You can talk about it all you want, but putting a plan into action is a different story,” said TCU first baseman Connor Wanhanen, who had a hit and a walk. “He was just outstanding tonight. We were never able to put enough good swings on the ball to get things moving.”
The Frogs (47-17) must defeat Texas A&M in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Tuesday to continue their season. Brian Howard will start for TCU against Stephen Kolek for the Aggies.
The winner of that game would then need to win three games in three days starting Thursday to reach the championship series.
It’s the College World Series. You’re not going to play somebody bad.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle
TCU right-hander Jared Janczak (9-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing three runs in four-plus innings.
“I think your guess is as good as mine,” he said, asked what led to his lack of command. “I just felt I was a little amped, I guess. I can’t really tell you.”
Faedo (8-2), a first-round pick in this week’s MLB draft, struck out 11 and walked two in seven innings, throwing 106 pitches. He helped himself with two pickoffs at first base. The Frogs ran into another out when Cam Warner was caught trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.
It was TCU’s first loss of the NCAA Tournament after five wins to start.
“It’s the College World Series,” Schlossnagle said. “You’re not going to play somebody bad. It’s all about just executing pitches and making plays on defense. And obviously, we were hoping Jared was going to have a great night and Alex would have a really bad night — usually that’s what has to happen when you beat a first-rounder. And he had a great night.”
Janczak walked a career-high five batters, including Ryan Larson to start the game. He compounded his trouble with an errant pickoff throw, and the Gators scored Larson with two ground balls.
Janczak got through the second and third innings, but a one-out walk and two singles plated another run in the fourth.
Three singles to start the fifth ended Janczak’s outing, his shortest of the season outside of a three-inning appearance in his first start returning from a shoulder injury four weeks ago.
“It’s upsetting that I did that,” Janczak said of the leadoff walk and error in the first inning. “But I had to come back and focus — so what, clear it out and focus. That’s what I tried to do the whole game. Obviously, I’m not trying to walk people out there; that’s not my goal. But it happens and I’ve got to take care of it.”
Trailing 1-0, the Frogs loaded the bases with one out in the third inning with the benefit of two walks and an error. But Faedo overpowered freshman designated hitter Zach Humphreys on three pitches, and he got Evan Skoug with a slider for an inning-ending strikeout.
“Made a good swing; that’s about all we can ask on our end,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s all about Alex, man. He deserves all the credit. And that’s what you’re going to face at this time of the season. There’s been historic great pitchers come through Rosenblatt and now TD Ameritrade, and tonight has to go down as a great, great performance in College World Series history.”
The Frogs had one more chance late, but Florida reliever Michael Byrne struck out pinch hitter Evan Williams with runners on the corners to end the eighth inning, leaving Skoug on deck.
Janczak, Coughlin (5), Green (7), Lodolo (9) and Skoug; Faedo, Byrne (8) and Rivera W—Faedo (8-2). L—Janczak (9-1). 2B—TCU: Warner (12); UF: Maldonado (9). HBP—By Coughlin (Larson). SB—UF: Guthrie (11). LOB—TCU 6, UF 10. E—TCU: Wanhanen (5), Janczak (2); UF: Guthrie 2 (11). DP— TCU: 2. T—3:10. A—23,543. RECORDS—TCU 47-17; Florida 48-18.
No. 6 TCU vs. Texas A&M
1 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN)