OMAHA, Neb. — Senior right-hander Preston Morrison, who walked on as a freshman and now is the career leader in starts and innings at TCU, said he’s still playing without an athletic scholarship.
“I still don’t have one,” he said Sunday after starting and winning TCU’s 10-3 victory against LSU in the College World Series. “It’s all academic.”
He was talking to reporters about getting his first postseason victory, and one asked when he finally got his scholarship.
Morrison explained that he didn’t need one, and that he’s glad to free up one of TCU’s 11.7 scholarships.
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“If it gets a guy like Evan Skoug here, I’m all for it,” he said. “I don’t look at it as a slap in the face or anything like that. It’s about the team, not about me.”
Morrison, whose 469.1 innings and 61 starts are the most all-time at TCU, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the eighth round last week. He said he occasionally thinks about never being offered an athletic scholarship out of high school in North Carolina.
“But the majority of the time, I’m so blessed,” he said. “I know I have to prepare every day, because it can be taken away from you in a snap – injury, whatever the case is.”
Morrison, 0-3 with five no-decisions in postseason prior Sunday’s game, allowed a run on five hits in seven innings to get TCU to a 1-0 start in the College World Series.
Third baseman Derek Odell said it was a typical Morrison start.
“We as a defense love playing behind Preston, just because there’s no lull to the game. You’re not having any down time,” he said. “He’s a sinkerball pitcher, so we all have to be ready for ground balls. And we’re so confident in Preston, just because he’s so even-keeled; nothing affects him bad or good. And he’s got that confidence, which gives us confidence behind him to make plays in the same way. I speak for all the infielders when I say there’s nobody we would rather have on the mound in a big situation than Preston Morrison. He’s our guy.”
The Horned Frogs are 13-4 this year in Morrison starts and 42-19 all-time. Morrison improved to 12-3 for the season and 37-12 career.
“Once I got on the mound today, I had no nerves,” Morrison said of Sunday’s start. “I was just really excited and really pumped up.”
He said he believed his first postseason victory was coming.
“Honestly, it was going to happen in these next nine or 10 days, because we have a staff, the defense, the offense to get it done,” he said. “Honestly, it’s been more about my teammates than me. I’m just kinda along for the ride, in a way. I pitch once every three or four games, and for the most part, it’s just so much fun to cheer on my teammates and see guys battle out there.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407