Forget last week’s forgettable showing in the Big 12 tournament for TCU.
The season-long body of work was enough.
The Horned Frogs were awarded one of the top eight seeds in the NCAA baseball postseason bracket announced Monday despite going 0-2 in Tulsa last week, giving them a chance to play at home in each round before the College World Series.
“The schedule we played — at ASU, the Dodger Stadium tournament, Rice, winning the Big 12 by three games; I don’t care whether people think it’s up or down, if you win that kind of conference by three games, then in my eyes, you’re deserving of it,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
The regular-season Big 12 champion Horned Frogs will meet Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. Friday in the Fort Worth Regional at Lupton Stadium.
The other teams in the double-elimination round are North Carolina State and Stony Brook, who will play at 2:30 p.m. at Lupton.
The winner of the regional advances to a best-of-three Super Regional series, with the winner advancing to the College World Series. If the Horned Frogs make it out of the regional, they will host the Super Regional round by virtue of being a top-eight seed.
“Yeah, luckily it didn’t hurt us,” TCU shortstop Keaton Jones said of the losses to Baylor and Texas Tech at the Big 12 tournament, which ended a streak of 11 consecutive conference wins. “Honestly, I thought it would more. I think we would have been a little higher in the seeding if we had done well. But luckily, our season was good for us, and we played really well.”
The winner of the Fort Worth regional is paired with the winner of the College Station regional in the next round, which means there’s a chance TCU could play Texas A&M in the Super Regional.
But first, Schlossnagle wants his team to return to playing the type of baseball that resulted in a 17-1 run to close the regular season.
“We know that only two of the eight national seeds made it to Omaha last year,” he said. “All that matters is how we play Friday. That’s all that matters. It’s our job to justify what the committee awarded us. We just need to go play good baseball.”
TCU went 27-2 at Lupton Stadium this year and is 10-2 all-time in regional tournaments there.
Last season, the Horned Frogs swept their regional and won a Super Regional against Pepperdine at home.
“We’re definitely very comfortable there,” starting pitcher Preston Morrison said. “Our hitters know how to hit there. Our pitchers know how to pitch there. For us, it’s an added level of comfort. It’ll be a lot of fun.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407
Fort Worth Regional
at Lupton Stadium
▪ N.C. State (34-21) vs. Stony Brook (34-14-1), 2:30 p.m. Friday, ESPN3 and WatchESPN app
▪ TCU (43-11) vs. Sacred Heart (23-30-1), 7 p.m. Friday, ESPN3 and WatchESPN app
Tickets: Season-ticket holders may buy “all-session” tickets for $60 until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Any remaining “all-session” tickets will be available to the general public at 8 a.m. Thursday at 817-257-3764. Single-game tickets are $20 each but will not be sold until the first game. All seating is reserved, the school said. Standing-room only tickets for the grass hill along the first baseline are $15 and will be available after all reserved seating is sold.
Coming to Fort Worth
North Carolina State: Located in Raleigh, N.C. ... Lost in the ACC tournament final to Florida State. ... Finished third in the ACC Atlantic Division.
Sacred Heart: Located in Fairfield, Conn. ... Won the Northeast Conference tournament championship for the fourth time, defeating top seed Bryant. ... 0-6 all-time in regional games.
Stony Brook: Located in Stony Brook, N.Y. ... Won the America East Conference regular season and tournament. ... Rallied from a 7-0 first-inning deficit in the championship game. ... 7-10 all-time in regional games.
1. UCLA (42-14): First top seed in school history ... Hosting a NCAA regional for the fifth time in six seasons. ... Won 11th conference title with a school-record 22 conference wins.
2. LSU (48-10): Hosting a regional for the 23rd time. ... SEC regular season champion and semifinalist in SEC tournament.
3. Louisville (43-16): Went 25-5 in its first season in the ACC, winning a fourth straight conference title. ... Eight 40-win seasons in the last nine years.
4. Florida (44-16): Eight-time College World Series participant. ... Sixth national seed in eight years. ... Making a school-record eighth consecutive playoff appearance.
5. Miami (44-14): Won the ACC tournament and a second consecutive ACC Coastal Division title. ... Have made the playoffs every year since 1972.
6. Illinois (47-8-1): First time hosting an NCAA regional. ... Won the Big Ten regular season title, 30th in team history. ... 27-game winning streak March 30-May 20 was longest in the country.
7. TCU (43-11): Second consecutive national seed, the first in school history. ... Won the Big 12 regular-season championship for the first time. ... 17-3 in past 20 games.
8. Missouri St. (45-10): Making ninth playoff appearance and second in four years. ... Won third Missouri Valley Conference title.