Message to TCU: Say thanks to U. Texas for any CWS success

By Ryne Sulier

Daily Skiff, Texas Christian U. via UWIRE

There wasn’t much shared love at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, TX last weekend when TCU stunned the U. Texas Longhorns 4-1 in the best-of-three elimination game. Nothing symbolized the angst felt by Horned Frog Nation more than when the TCU bench charged the burnt-orange Longhorn emblem in center field and dog-piled the iconic Steer after the final out.

But if the Frogs accomplish anything in their first CWS appearance, even a single victory (which could come as soon as 1 p.m. Saturday against Florida State), they must thank UT for that opportunity.

Q: Why should Frog-faithful thank the Longhorns for anything more than getting a rare chance to quasi-morbidly revel in what Texas head baseball coach Augie Garrido described as a devastating, gut wrenching and heart breaking experience for the Longhorns?

“Unbearable pain, it’s like a bad dream,” said Texas closer Chance Ruffin after the Austin Super Regional loss.

A: Because Texas made TCU earn their ticket to Omaha, Neb.

Thank you, Texas.

The Frogs have one advantage over the other seven teams joining them in Omaha: They’ve already played a no. 2 nationally seeded CWS team–a Longhorns team that boasted the best team ERA (2.45) in Division I Baseball.

“That’s no disrespect to the other teams that are going to be there, but it’s a shame that Texas and TCU have to play (in the Super Regional) when I think Texas and TCU are two of the top eight teams,” said TCU head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle.

Thank you, Texas.

Schlossnagle had to beat Garrido, a five-time CWS champion and member of the College World Series Legends Team, at his own game in an atmosphere unmatched by any other Super Regional location.

Garrido said the Frogs will go as far as their confidence allowed them in Omaha, and that the performance the TCU pitcher’s mustered in Austin in a pressure-filled away environment would have to be matched at Rosenblatt.

“No disrespect to all of the other Super Regional sites, but it was really hard for me to go home and watch UCLA and Fullerton play…two good teams, but a slightly different atmosphere than (Disch-Falk Field),” Schlossnagle said. ”

Thank you, Texas.

No disrespect, but Schlossnagle knows that his offense won’t have to face any pitchers quite like Texas ace Taylor Jungmann or Longhorns’ All-American closer Chance Ruffin (both ranked in the top-ten in college baseball ERA).

Thank you, Texas.

What may help TCU the most in Omaha (at least inside the confines of Rosenblatt Stadium) is another bad-blooded rivalry, this time out-of-state: Nebraska Cornhuskers’ red-blooded hatred for anything Texas and burnt-orange.

Last season’s Big-12 Championship game, where the now infamous added tick to the fourth quarter clock led a to a Longhorns field goal to win the game, still lingers sourly in the mouths of many Big Red faithful who will pack Rosenblatt to capacity.

“Go Horned Frogs,” shouted an array of Omaha-bound travelers watching ESPN coverage of the CWS while waiting for their connecting flight in a Minneapolis, Min. bar Friday. Baseball chatter quickly shifted to football and conference realignment while the bartender couldn’t shake up Bloody Mary’s fast enough for the Huskers-heavy patrons.

TCU is the only team in the 2010 CWS that has yet to make at least one appearance. Omaha usually takes well to College World Series newbie’s, especially newbie’s that knock off the Longhorns in Austin.

Thank you, Texas.

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