The TCU Horned Frogs were not ready to return home from Omaha just yet. TCU gave the previously undefeated Jackson Kowar his first loss of the season and ran him after just five innings of work. Although Kowar struck out 11 batters during that time, he wasn’t able to fully control his stuff and that led to six hits, two walks, and two wild pitches. Now the Florida Gators need a win on Saturday night if they hope to make it to the College World Series finals.
This game will take place at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 24, 2017. It will be broadcast on ESPN.
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Florida is not going to leave anything to chance in this decisive game. The Gators have already announced that they do not intend to save ace Alex Faedo for a potential date in the CWS finals.
Faedo will get the start on Saturday night with the team’s hopes riding on the line. He was by far the best pitcher for the Gators this season and was dominant in their win over TCU last Sunday.
In that outing, Faedo allowed just two hits and two walks in seven innings of shutout baseball en route to a 3-0 win. He struck out 11 Horned Frogs and was virtually unhittable that day.
There’s no denying Faedo’s talent. He was a first-round pick in the MLB Draft for a reason and has a plethora of pitches that he can summon to get batters out.
TCU is very likely to bring its own ace back to the mound in its third game against Florida.
Jared Janczak didn’t have his stuff in the first game between these two teams, putting 11 baserunners on in just four innings of work. He was pulled while it was still a game and the bullpen kept TCU in it, but the damage had already been done.
Janczak’s poor outing was a surprise. He was a dominant pitcher all season long who could absolutely shove when needed. He struck out 95 batters in 86.1 innings of work all season long and allowed just nine extra-base hits. Janczak didn’t allow walks either with a mere 24 conceded.
He will need to respond from one of his worse performances of the season for the Horned Frogs to feel confident about their chances.
Hitters to Watch
TCU’s hitters were extremely clutch against Florida on Friday night. The Horned Frogs scored seven runs with two outs and blew the game open in the sixth inning with their two-out rally.
Evan Skoug picked a great time to finally come through for TCU. The big-hitting catcher has had some woes at the plate in Omaha. However, he erased all those memories with a two-out double with the bases loaded that led to three runs and a six-run lead.
Nelson Maldonado is playing hurt, that’s for certain. The best hitter on the Gators is battling ankle and shoulder injuries and unfortunately, they are starting to show. Maldonado typically plays the outfield, but took on the DH role against TCU on Friday and went just 1-4 at the plate.
College World Series ATS Pick
This is going to be an exciting game between two pitchers with elite tools. Faedo and Janczak are both capable of pitching a complete game shutout in a situation like this. However, where Faedo has looked unfazed on this stage, Janczak has showed some nerves.
He wasn’t his typical self the last time these teams met up and it showed with his poor outing. TCU’s bullpen stopped the bleeding the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. This time around, look for both pitchers to go seven innings in a gem of a game, but the Gators to eventually pull out a one- or two-run win.
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