At home plate before the game, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle offered a deal to Texas A&M coach Rob Childress.
“I said, ‘Let’s never play each other again if we can control it unless it’s here,’ ” Schlossnagle said. “He said, ‘Yeah, preferably not in the loser’s bracket.’ ”
The Horned Frogs and Aggies had to play again in an NCAA postseason game Tuesday at the College World Series.
It was the third year in a row and fourth time in six years. And once again, the Frogs ended the season for their former Southwest Conference rivals, winning 4-1 in an elimination game.
TCU starter Brian Howard struck out 12 in seven innings, 53 weeks after ending an A&M season with a winning start in a Super Regional Game 3 at College Station.
“We’ve fought some awesome games with those guys, and we’ve been fortunate to come out on top in a few of them,” Schlossnagle said. “But it doesn’t diminish how much respect we have for their program, I have for Rob, we have coaching staff for coaching staff.”
TCU has won seven of the last nine meetings against the Aggies, all but one in postseason. All-time, A&M leads the series 162-94-4. TCU is 9-6 against the Aggies under Jim Schlossnagle, including 16- and 15-inning victories.
Aggies catcher Cole Bedford did not face Howard last year, but he knew the scouting report.
“I chased the first pitch, and that’s what he kind of feeds off,” he said. “He’s an adrenalin guy. You try to get him before he gets in the groove because when he gets in the groove, he’s got good stuff.”
After Super Regional losses to TCU in Fort Worth two years ago and in College Station last year, Childress was asked if he sensed extra frustration or disappointment from his players following another loss to TCU.
Childress answered, “No, I mean, our guys, if they hang their head walking off the field, I would be disappointed in them. I told them, ‘You don’t hang your head. You have nothing to be disappointed in. You should be incredibly proud.’
Childress continued, “I don’t care who is in the other dugout, whether they’re green, orange or purple. They’re a good team and incredibly well-coached. And Howard reminds me of Michael Wacha with the tilt and the ability to power the fastball down. He’s incredibly competitive. I’m not going to apologize for losing to him. That guy’s a really good pitcher. I’m not going to apologize for anything that we did this year.”
Schlossnagle began his press conference by congratulating Texas A&M.
“Rob’s a close friend. I’m really happy for him and the season they had, the run they made down the stretch,” he said. “It’s just awesome to see.”