Finnegan on Game in Win Over Waves
June 7, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas -- For the first time in who knows how long TCU lefthander Brandon Finnegan, who has pitched all season with the tag of a potential first-round pick, threw with a lot less pressure.
Saturday afternoon, Finnegan got the nod at home against Pepperdine for his second career Super Regional start two days after the Kansas City Royals selected the Fort Worth product with the 17th overall pick in the MLB Draft.
"When I heard my name called it was a relief and a lot of stress lifted off my shoulders," said Finnegan, who prepped at Fort Worth Southwest High School. "After that, the only thing left to do was pitch. I didn't have to worry about scouts. I didn't have to worry about anything. All I had to do is throw strikes and get outs."
And pitch he did.
Finnegan pulled the Frogs to within one game of a berth into the College World Series by going 6.1 innings in which he allowed just two runs on three hits while striking out seven in the 3-2 win over the Waves.
"My freshman year we went to the Super Regionals and we were two games away and me and Preston (Morrison) started Game 1 and Game 2, just like this year. We missed it and we don't plan on missing it this year," Finnegan said. "We have one game left for Omaha and hopefully we can get there."
Finnegan entered Saturday's game ranked eighth in the nation in strikeouts with 122 and with seven Saturday moves him into the Top 4 with 129.
"You have to tip your hat to Finnegan. He did a heckuva job," Pepperdine head baseball coach Steve Rodriguez said. "He pitched down in the zone the whole day. He did a really good job and that's why he's a first-round pick."
Finnegan allowed his first base hit in the third and his second in the fifth. He allowed base runners in four of the first six innings, including runners on second in the second and third innings, but escaped unscathed. In the seventh he allowed a two-run homer before giving way to Trey Teakell with one out in the frame.
"I thought Finny was outstanding. He may not tell you he hit a wall (in the seventh), but he got behind in the count and their guy put a good swing on the ball," TCU head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
With the win, Finnegan upped his record to 9-3 (2.12 ERA) in what could be his last game at Lupton Stadium.
"There are a lot of emotions. I would be lying if I hadn't thought about that all week," he said. "I got emotional after the game because it could by my last time pitching at this field. I love this place and I don't want to leave it, but when it's your time to go it's time to go."