TCU Reflects on Heartbreaking End to Season

TCU Baseball | Image by TCU Baseball/Facebook
TCU Baseball | Image by TCU Baseball/Facebook

The Texas Christian University baseball team faced another closed door following the team’s elimination from the Big 12 Championship tournament at Globe Life Field last Friday.

The Horned Frogs fell short with an 11-10 loss to Kansas, ending their run for the conference title. TCU started off on the wrong foot, allowing nine runs in the first inning, but made a valiant comeback, tying the game at 10 runs in the seventh inning.

“I’m really proud of what we did — nine-nothing after the first inning — I thought our guys responded awesome the whole day,” said TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos in a press conference.

With a home run from Jack Basseer, a ball that hit the foul pole off the bat of Karson Bowen, and another home run from Kurtis Byrne, the Frogs slowly began their comeback against the Jayhawks.

On the mound, TCU was able to pull off some stops that held Kansas to 10 runs heading into the last innings of the game. Coach Saarloos highlighted some of his pitchers from the game, including Braeden Sloan, the left-handed pitcher who threw the strikeout to end the seventh inning. Saarloos also gave a shout-out to Colt Taylor, who only pitched in eight games all season long and had a double play to fend off the Jayhawks.

A second home run from Byrne and a ball hit by Chase Brunson with bases loaded led to a double play that had the Frogs trailing by only two runs. Luke Boyers hit a ball that led to two more runs for TCU.

“We never believed we were out of it, even when they put up nine in the first. You still got eight more innings to play after that,” Luke Boyers commented in the post-game press conference. “It was quality at-bat after quality at-bat and we just kept scratching away, getting closer, and closer, and closer, and we were right where we wanted to be toward the end of the game, but we just fell short.”

The Jayhawks crept into the lead again with a solo home run in the eighth inning, holding the Horned Frogs at bay for the rest of the game.

Looking past the Big 12 Championship, the Frogs were anticipating a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, where the College World Series games will be played from June 14 to June 24. On Monday, May 27, the NCAA Committee announced the 64 teams that would be battling it out in regional games across the country, all in hopes of making it to the final stage in Omaha.

In a shocking turn of events, TCU was excluded from the Regionals and had the door closed on their season. With a 13-0 start, the Frogs came out of the gate, proving their strength both offensively and defensively. Overall, TCU’s record for the season was 33-21, which they assumed put them in position for more postseason play.

Saarloos expressed his frustration with the lack of clearly defined criteria for selecting the teams to play in the Regionals, commenting that he asked the committee for the reasons behind their decision.

However, the Frogs record for conference play in the Big 12 was 14-16. “I think that was the biggest sticking point for the committee is that we finished ninth in our conference,” Saarloos stated in an interview with Frogs Today.

TCU’s director of intercollegiate athletics, Jeremiah Donati, took to X to comment on the outcome of the postseason.

“While I have a lot of appreciation and respect for the NCAA Baseball Committee and the tough task they are charged with annually to select the postseason teams, our omission from this year’s tournament leaves me and everyone associated with our program extremely disappointed,” Donati stated. “I have no doubt that we were very deserving of a spot in the field.”

Despite the unexpected end to the season, Saarloos shared some positive remarks on the team’s mentality and attitude throughout the season.

“I think they really had each other’s back and were there for one another in a lot of different ways,” Saarloos told Frogs Today. “I think this group was really tight with one another in terms of their love for one another and supporting one another and being there and showing up for each other. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ll remember from this club.”

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