TCU baseball heads to College Station Regional to take on former coach Jim Schlossnagle and the Texas A&M Aggies.
The No. 2 seeded Horned Frogs (36-20) open against No. 3 Louisiana (36-21) at 7 p.m. Friday at Olsen Field in Blue Bell Park.
The Horned Frogs (36-20), who won the Big 12 Conference regular season championship, went 1-2 in the conference tournament, knocking them out of the organization.
The Aggies (37-18) are the No. 5 national seed and will open against Oral Roberts (38-18) at 1 p.m. Friday. Schlossnagle left TCU for A&M last June after 18 seasons as coach of the Horned Frogs.
“We’re not playing Jim, we’re playing Louisiana,” TCU coach Kirk Saarloos said. “Any time you play in a region it will be a great experience. The environment at Blue Bell [Ballpark] is phenomenal. And we had a great time there as a program, but it’s a new team.
The Frogs won a Super Regional at Texas A&M to qualify for the 2016 College World Series.
In 2012, TCU won the College Station Regional to advance to the Super Regional against UCLA.
A year ago, TCU went 1-2 as hosts in the Fort Worth Regional.
Of course, TCU and Texas A&M aren’t certain to play against each other. The double-elimination tournament, however, will likely result in at least one showdown between the Frogs and Aggies if they both win at least one game.
“If and when this game happens, it’s going to be a great opportunity for two continuing Texas programs that have some history in the playoffs,” Saarloos said. “If you’re a college baseball fan, you can’t wait for this game. We have to take care of business [against Louisiana].”
TCU will play Friday’s game without Saarloos, who will serve the second of their two-game suspension. The NCAA suspended Saarloos for excessive expression after he was ejected in Thursday’s loss in the Big 12 tournament.
Saarloos was happy the NCAA sent the frogs somewhere within driving distance.
“I’m glad we’re two and a half hours away from where our fans can get in the car and get off,” he said. “That’s what motivates me the most, that our fans can travel and not have to fly.”
TCU took two of Louisiana’s three in a series in 2021. The last time TCU played Oral Roberts was in the 2016 Fort Worth Regional, a 7-0 Frogs victory. The last time the Frogs faced the Aggies was a 1-0 loss at Minute Maid Park in March 2019. TCU beat A&M twice in 2017, including in a playoff game at the 2017 College World Series .
Schlossnagle brought the Aggies back to the playoffs after failing to make the SEC Tournament a year ago. He thinks the Horned Frogs deserved to be hosts after winning the Big 12 title in the regular season.
“Obviously I have mixed feelings because I love TCU and I really cheered on the players there a lot,” Schlossnagle said. “Right now my focus is on our team here and Oral Roberts.”
Schlossnagle led TCU to five College World Series and won a program record 734 games from 2004 to 2021.
He figured one of the big Big 12 teams — TCU, Oklahoma and Texas Tech — was heading to College Station.
“They can’t go to Texas, they can’t go to Oklahoma State,” Schlossnagle said. “They’re not going to ship these three schools, so one of them had to come here. So God and the NCAA committee seem to have a little humor. So TCU is the one coming up.
This story was originally published May 30, 2022 11:21 a.m.