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2017 TCU Baseball - The Season of the Omaha Four-peat Thread

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Looking forward to this series from Frogs o' War.

 

TCU Baseball Senior Sendoff: Mitchell Traver

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We’ve had a lot of great memories over the last four (or five) seasons of TCU Baseball, and in this series we’ll honor the seniors who have been here for the incredible ride that included four consecutive College World Series appearances. Traver battled injury for a large chunk of his college career, but when he was healthy, he was an invaluable part of the team in terms of leadership and on the field performance. Not only that, but healthy or not, he was one of the guys that gave everything he had to his teammates and the Frog faithful.

 

When he appeared on campus as a freshman he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 37 freshman in college baseball. His struggles started almost immediately when he was he was forced to redshirt in the 2013 season due to sustaining an injury in the fall. As a redshirt freshman in 2014 he continued battling injury for most of the season, pitching just 13 of an inning all year.

https://www.frogsowar.com/2017/7/3/15911108/tcu-baseball-senior-sendoff-mitchell-traver-horned-frogs

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TCU Baseball Senior Sendoff: Evan Williams

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Evan Williams came to TCU after playing two seasons at McLennan College in *whispers* Waco, where he was a two-time first-team all-conference performer. That earns him a little extra love from me because my father actually played a season at McLennan. But don’t worry, he left Waco as soon as he could.

 

In Evan Williams’ first season at TCU, 2015, he was a junior. He made three starts as a left fielder and 21 appearances on the season. Most of the time he was called on to come into the game as a pinch hitter, but he also saw time as a defensive replacement and a pinch runner. He batted .350 that season, which led all bench players, and produced a .458 on-base percentage.

 

It was also in that season that he had his own special moment as part of one of TCU’s legendary post-season performances. In game seven of the 2015 Fort Worth Regional against NC State, he entered the game in the top half of the 10th inning as a defensive replacement in left field with the score tied. He led off the bottom of that inning with a single and ended up scoring the winning run on a single from Elliott Barzilli.

https://www.frogsowar.com/2017/7/5/15919502/tcu-baseball-senior-sendoff-evan-williams-ncaa-baseball-college-horned-frogs

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TCU Baseball Senior Sendoff: Brian Howard

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He arrived in the fall of 2013, all arms, legs, and a 90+ mph fastball. 6’9” and hailing from St. Louis, Howard was a top 300 player national and a top 100 pitcher when he committed to the Horned Frogs. After winning 25 games across three years of high school, big things were expected from the lanky freshman. But Howard was used in a limited role in his first year on campus, as he worked on his control and, in his words, his attitude.

According to Howard, he's just trying to live up to TCU's core values: selflessness, excellence and energy.

"When I was young here, I didn't really have the first two core values, so I had to really step it up on the third," Howard said. "That's just kind of been my thing."

https://www.frogsowar.com/2017/7/6/15908286/tcu-baseball-senior-sendoff-brian-howard

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TCU Baseball Senior Sendoff: Nolan Brown

A junior college transfer who stole the hearts of fans, along with a whole mess of bases.

by Travis Kennedy Jul 13, 2017, 4:41pm CDT

 

Nolan Brown is a hometown talent who played his high school ball just a few miles up the road at Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, TX. He went the junior college route out of high school and ended up at Blinn College, not far from College Station. He earned NJCAA third-team All-American honors as a sophomore, hitting .411 with a .478 on-base percentage.

 

He was likely on TCU’s radar long before his time at Blinn due to his success in high school, but it seems his performance in junior college earned him a spot on the Frog’s roster. Right away it was easy to see that he had serious wheels. He even walked up to the batter’s box like he was ready to sprint around the bases at any moment. In his time at TCU he was 35-40 in stolen bases. His 26 in 2017 led the team, and was the most since Cody Jones had 33 in 2015.

https://www.frogsowar.com/2017/7/13/15950614/tcu-baseball-senior-sendoff-nolan-brown-ncaa-texas-christian-horned-frogs

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TCU Baseball Senior Sendoff: Ryan Merrill

Merrill had big shoes to fill at short stop, and in the process he went from being a kid from Omaha to “The Omaha Kid”.

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Merrill faced a tall task coming into TCU’s program as a shortstop. He was following one of TCU’s best to ever play that position in Keaton Jones. But Merrill came to TCU for a reason out of Iowa Western Community College. He grew up in Omaha watching the College World Series every year, and he wanted to play for a program that would give him the chance to play in front of his hometown crowd. He ended up getting to do so not once, but twice.

 

In his junior year (2016) he started 51 games at shortstop as part of 53 appearances on the season. The main reason that he saw the field so much is that he hit .298 that year, but he was also a big contributor in other ways. He was 11 of 15 in stolen base attempts, and he collected 25 RBIs as well as scoring 31 runs. While he only had one home run, he showed some power hitting nine doubles and four triples. He also put together 13 multi-hit games and seven multiple-RBI contests. The bat kept him on the diamond, but a fielding percentage of .910 left room for improvement.

https://www.frogsowar.com/2017/7/21/16001812/tcu-baseball-senior-sendoff-ryan-merrill

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