The College World Series kicked off for the TCU Horned Frogs in horrid form. They were shut out by the Florida Gators thanks to seven shutout innings from Alex Faedo. Now, they're going to have to go against the Gators once again on Friday night and hope to be able to scratch a few runs together if they want any chance of playing for a National Championship.
This College World Series duel will go down Friday, June 23, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
The Gators were slight favorites when the CWS kicked off over TCU, but the margin wasn't convincing. That said, they really looked the part of a legitimate title contender for the first time since really the end of the regular season in their 3-0 victory. They might have still had problems with the sticks, but when the arms are going as well as they were five days ago, it's hard to be beaten.
UF figures to be favored by a slightly larger margin this time around. The number should still top out around -160 or so. Extra credit must be given for the fact that the Gators have all of their arms available, while TCU had to play against Louisville on Wednesday night just to stay alive.
Clearly, Florida is going to throw Faedo again in this one. There's just no reason not to give him a second whack at the Horned Frogs with an opportunity to go to the National Championship series. Not only did Faedo allow just four men to reach base in his first College World Series effort, but he also struck out 11 men in those seven frames.
Faedo will enter this start with a 2.40 ERA, and he clearly represents Florida's best chance to win this game.
TCU hasn't announced its intentions yet for this matchup as of the writing of this article, but we have to think it'll be Jared Janczak once again.
Janczak is clearly TCU's best pitcher with his 2.19 ERA, but he wasn't on his game against Florida five days ago. He allowed three runs in four innings and needed a whopping 87 pitches to get through those four frames. Walking five of the 22 men he faced surely didn't help any, and it's why he had to be yanked relatively early.
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It happens to be that TCU's best player at this College World Series has been Sean Wymer. He has retired 18 of the 20 batters he's faced, including 6.1 innings of shutout baseball. There's no way he's going to be available for this game after throwing 4.1 innings on Thursday night, and that might end up being a big problem.
Still, the Horned Frogs almost certainly have to hit the ball better against Faedo this time around than they did to kick off this tourney. If they do, they've got their wheels working for sure. They stole a CWS-record four bases against Louisville in the second inning last night, and they also managed to squeak out all four of their runs with two outs in innings.
The real story though, will have to be Janczak. We're not saying that he has to go the distance, but you'd like to think he has to finish at least six or seven frames and allow just one or two runs to give the Frogs a shot. He's an ace for a reason though, and we suspect he'll end up doing just enough to force a decisive final game in the bottom half of this region on Saturday.
College World Series Odds: TCU 3, Florida 2
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