The battle for the state of Texas is almost underway here in Omaha, and things are starting to heat up. Texas Tech and TCU will meet in the first round of the College World Series for the second time in three years.
The first time was June 15th, 2014. Seventh ranked Texas Tech lost a close one to the third ranked TCU Horned Frogs 3-2. Texas Tech was later bounced from the CWS by Ole Miss in a 2-1 losers bracket matchup, while TCU went on to lose consecutive games to Virginia and Ole Miss.
While the final outcome wasn’t what either team wanted, TCU came away from Omaha with bragging rights.
“I think the other teams played better than us last time when we were here,” Texas Tech Head Coach Tim Tadlock said. “Ole Miss played better, so did TCU.”
TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle doesn’t play into the fact that this is a rivalry game, but he does acknowledge the passionate competition between the two schools.
“I think there’s a mutual level of respect there and there’s good competition and heated competition,” Schlossnagle said. “But when the games are over, I hear our guys say positive things about theirs and there’s conversations between the two. So, I mean, it’s just good, sound, competitive college baseball.”
Tadlock said the familiarity between the two teams’ players makes for some added excitement between the matchup.
“We know -- obviously the players know each other,” Tadlock said. “There’s probably quite a few guys that are friends on the team, on both teams, when they’re off the field. At the same time, I think both teams enjoy the competition and the venues we get to play in.”
While the coaches may shrug off the rivalry aspect between these two schools, the fans weren’t holding any punches.
“Conference play, they hate each other, same state, it spills over into football and all of the other sports,” Texas Tech fan Rob Alderink said. “It’s interesting that we get to play them here in the College World Series. The fan bases are out here in full force all the way in Nebraska to meet up and fight over Texas soil, for the pride of the whole state.”
Andy Mott, a TCU fan, said the rivalry comes from the bitterness of Texas Tech fans from the 2014 College World Series matchup.
“I think there’s a little bit of a rivalry, but that’s just because we knocked them out last time,” Mott said. “They probably hate us more than we hate them. It’s always nice when the fan bases can interact because we’re in the same state.”
First pitch for the matchup between Texas Tech and TCU is set for 2:05 p.m. For more College World Series coverage, follow @OSIsports on Twitter, visit OmahaSportsInsider.com and tune into AM 590 ESPN Omaha and KMTV.