April 3, 2014
FORT WORTH -
The TCU baseball team returns home to play host to West Virginia in a key Big 12 conference series. The series kicks off Friday night at 6:30.
TCU stopped a two-game skid with a 12-6 victory over UT Arlington on Tuesday. The 12 runs and 16 hits were season highs for the Frogs.
Kyle Bacak collected a career-high two RBIs.
Every member of the starting lineup had at least one hit in the victory.
Dylan Fitzgerald and Kevin Cron each homered for the Horned Frogs on Tuesday night.
Fitzgerald has reached base safely in 24 straight games.
Brandon Finnegan picked up his team-leading fifth win of the season on Friday night. His 73 strikeouts lead his nearest competitor (WVU's Harrison Musgrave) by 27.
Jerrick Suiter has been on fire since his return from injury. He is 7-for-13 with six RBIs in three games played.
The pitching staff ranks second in the Big 12 with a 2.98 ERA, while they lead the league with 263 strikeouts.
The Horned Frogs have tallied 10 or more strikeouts in a game 14 times this season.
WEST VIRGINIA NOTABLES
West Virginia has won four straight heading into the weekend. The Mountaineers have defeated Pitt twice and took a rain-shorted two-game series from Baylor.
The Mountaineer lineup features three of the top five hitters in the league: Bobby Boyd (.375), Billy Fleming (.372) and Ryan McBroom (.368).
Ryan McBroom is tied for the league lead with six home runs on the season and ranks second with 31 RBIs.
On the mound, John Means leads a Mountaineer staff that ranks 7th in the Big 12 with a 3.24 ERA.
Means is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA on the season.
Sean Carley is familiar to TCU fans from the Mountain West. TCU faced him twice in 2010 and 2011 when he pitched for Air Force. He has four career appearances against TCU.
West Virginia leads the Big 12 with 48 stolen bases, led by Bobby Boyd's 12.
TCU and West Virginia began their series in 2013 and will be meeting on the diamond for just the fifth time on Friday night.
The Horned Frogs took a 2-1 series decision in Charleston a year ago, but dropped a 10-2 decision to the Mountaineers in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
Head coach Randy Mazey was an assistant from 2007-2012. Assistant Coach Steven Trout was a player from 2006-07 and Assistant Coach Derek Matlock was a volunteer coach at TCU from 2005-06.
FINDING A WAY
Dylan Fitzgerald has an impressive streak of his going. The senior has reached base in 24 straight contests. He has reached base in 26 of the 27 games in which he's made a plate appearance.
Fitzgerald has tallied a hit in 19 of the 24 games he's reached base. He walked in three others and was hit by a pitch in two. The streak began with a 3-for-4 day at the plate against BYU on Feb. 21.
During the streak, Fitzgerald has a .305 (29-for-95) batting average, 13 walks and two hit by pitches. He boasts a .400 on-base percentage.
THE ACE OF THE STAFF
Brandon Finnegan has put together an impressive start to his junior campaign. In addition to ranking second in the nation with 73 strikeouts, Finnegan ranks third nationally in K/9 with 12.57. He is one of just two pitchers with at least 70 strikeouts (Cal Poly's Matt Imhof has 77).
Finnegan leads the team with a 1.42 ERA in seven starts this season. He has allowed runs in only three of his seven starts. Five of the eight runs he has surrendered on the season came in a loss to Sam Houston State.
All seven of Finnegan's starts have lasted at least six innings. He has fanned 10 or more batters in all but two starts
MOWING THEM DOWN
The TCU pitching staff leads the league and ranks tied for fourth in the nation with 263 strikeouts. Additionally, the 72 walks issued are tied for the fewest in the Big 12.
The Horned Frogs boast a 3.7 K:BB ratio, a mark that is third in the NCAA, while their 9.3 K/9 innings is fifth.
Fourteen times this season, the Horned Frog pitching staff has struck out 10 or more batters in a game. On four occasions, the staff has totaled 15 strikeouts.
A RETURN TO FORM
Preston Morrison has made 33 starts in his career. Against Texas Tech he failed to get out of third inning for the first time in any start. The junior bounced back with a solid performance in a no-decision at Oklahoma State, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
For his career, he has turned in 24 quality starts (six or more innings pitched). Additionally, he has made it through seven innings 20 times and eight innings 13 times.