The 2017 College World Series will end for one team Tuesday.
The Texas A&M Aggies and TCU Horned Frogs are on the verge of elimination following their defeats Sunday. The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Aggies 8-4, while the Florida Gators earned a 3-0 victory over the Horned Frogs.
While Louisville and Florida are both in a more enviable position than Texas A&M and TCU, that won't be the case for one of the two by the time Tuesday ends.
Below is a schedule for the day's action and a brief preview for the two games.
Texas A&M vs. TCU, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
Florida vs. Louisville, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Texas A&M vs. TCU
In its last three games, however, Texas A&M has allowed 20 combined runs.
Somewhat surprisingly, Aggies coach Rob Childress used his ace, Brigham Hill, as a reliever in Sunday's loss. While Hill could do the same again Tuesday, A&M will at least need Stephen Kolek to provide a quality start.
Kolek is 4-4 with a 3.59 in 15 starts this season. The sophomore right-hander has struck out 80 batters and walked 22. He started against TCU back in March, allowing an earned run over four innings. TCU won 11-10 in 15 innings.
Should Kolek repeat that performance, the Aggies should be able to get revenge. If he's not at the top of his game, things could go badly against a Horned Frogs offense that can manufacture runs.
TCU is 129th in slugging percentage (.407) and tied for 81st in home runs per game (0.89), neither of which jump off the page. The Horned Frogs are 38th in scoring (6.8 runs per game), however, in large part because they have the sixth-most walks (340) and rank 69th in on-base percentage (.377).
Having to pitch against TCU isn't a lot of fun, despite what Florida's Alex Faedo might have you believe after pitching seven shutout innings against the Horned Frogs Sunday.
TCU's players won't be fazed by the must-win nature of Tuesday's game, either. The school is playing in its fourth straight College World Series.
"Our strength is our experience," coach Jim Schlossnagle said, per ESPN.com's Mitch Sherman. "Most of the challenges are outside the stadium, especially when it's your first couple times or with a new team. Being able to handle the media attention, the fans, the 'Have I bought enough T-shirts for my girlfriend?'—all of that stuff, it can overwhelm you."
Between the Horned Frogs' experience edge and their dangerous offense, TCU will live to fight another day in Omaha, Nebraska.
Prediction: TCU 5, Texas A&M 2
Florida vs. Louisville
It's too bad Florida and Louisville were not matched up Sunday, because fans could've been treated to Faedo vs. Brendan McKay. Instead, the Gators will turn to Brady Singer, and Kade McClure is the likeliest candidate to take the bump for the Cardinals.
Singer is 7-5 with a 3.29 ERA in 18 appearances. While Faedo has overshadowed him for the most part, the sophomore right-hander has been a reliable starter in his own right.
With that said, Singer's workload may be a bit of a concern. In his two starts prior to his rain-shortened appearance against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on June 12, he allowed 13 runs over 8.1 innings in defeats to the Arkansas Razorbacks and Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.
Singer's 112.0 innings are second-most on the team behind Faedo (116.1), and many of those innings have come in higher-pressure situations.
Earlier this month, GatorCountry.com's Nick de la Torre noted how the Gators offense has often failed to provide much support for Singer:
Through his first nine appearances, Singer allowed three or more runs just once. In his next nine appearances, he allowed three or more runs in all but two. One was his start against Wake Forest, and the other was his relief appearance against the Demon Deacons two days earlier.
Perhaps Singer's second-half swoon is a simple coincidence or a result of the fact it's the business end of the season—between the heart of conference play and the postseason.
Louisville has the power to take advantage of any general fatigue Singer might be feeling. Three Cardinals—McKay, Drew Ellis and Colby Fitch—have double digits in home runs, and the team is 31st in slugging percentage (.463).
Louisville is riding a six-game winning streak heading into Tuesday, and it should extend the streak to seven games.
Prediction: Louisville 4, Florida 1
Note: Stats are courtesy of NCAA.com.