But after a 6-1 loss Saturday to No. 4 LSU at TD Ameritrade Park, the group that broke each huddle on "1-2-3, Omaha" saw its season end in the destination city mere days before the final trophy presentation, one game short of the College World Series finals.
The Horned Frogs could only afford one loss in bracket play at the College World Series in order to advance to their first finals in program history, but unfortunately for TCU, they were matched up against 2017 Major League Baseball first round draft pick in Florida's Alex Faedo in the semifinals for the championship game.
LSU got on the scoreboard first, and in a big way, in the bottom half of the second inning, when Papierski belted a two-out three-run home run, his 10th of the season, to give them a quick 3-0 lead.
"We're not done yet", said Jordan, who set up the first of Papierski's home runs with a two-out double in the second and hit one of his own in the sixth. LSU doubled its lead on Beau Jordan's sacrifice bunt, and after Michael Papierski reached on a fielding error, Slaughter's three-run home run pushed LSU's lead to 5-0 and chased Sands from the game.
He also got six innings of three-up, three-down pitching and didn't allow a runner past second base until Michael Gretler's eighth-inning home run in his seventh victory of the season. Wymer limited the Cardinals (53-12) to two hits after they had pulled within a run on McKay's 18th homer of the year and Logan Taylor's first homer in 123 games. Watson finished with three hits to lead the Tigers. Oregon State hadn't lost back-to-back games all year and was in the driver's seat after routing LSU 13-1 on Monday night. Busby lined a two-out single in the eighth, but Poche got Lueck to roll out to second on the next offering - Poche's 20th first-pitch strike.
The time of Saturday's game is to be announced after the later Friday game between Florida and TCU. Steven Kwan opened the frame with a single past Cole Freeman, marking the first hit Hess has allowed in the CWS. "If you're going to hide who you're starting and try to like about it, that means, I don't want to say you're scared, but that means you're anxious about us'".
To make things worse, freshman starting pitcher Eric Walker (8-2) left in the top of the third inning due to a tired muscle in his right forearm, opening the flood gates for OSU's offensive explosion.
"Definitely feels good to get this win and to go to the College World Series finals", Papierski said.
It was LSU's first two-hitter in its College World Series history. Gilbert retired the first 11 batters he faced. After a loss to the Beavers knocked them to the elimination bracket on June 19, LSU rattled off wins on Friday and now, Saturday, to topple Oregon State and advance to the Finals. "I was sacked up that I got to give us a big lead".
This marks the 18th year in a row that the No. 1 national seed won't win the championship.
The Tigers are expecting a very challenging rematch, but head coach Paul Mainieri isn't expecting a repeated blowout.
But the Tiger who carried the load on offense Saturday wasn't any of those.
"I put some good swings on fastballs today", he said. Coach Pat Casey said Friday that the plan was to throw Drew Rasmussen, but he and his staff changed their minds because Fehmel was effective against LSU on Monday and they wanted Rasmussen available for relief.
One should expect the LSU-Florida series to go to Game 3. Designated hitter Trevor Larnach came to bat looking to extend his streak of 14 consecutive games with an RBI, emerging as an elite hitter after injuries stalled his career as a freshman. "We needed to figure out our bullpen, and Michael Byrne has turned out to be outstanding at the end".