April 12, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - After a five-game hiatus from conference action, the TCU baseball team will host Air Force in a three-game Mountain West series beginning Friday night. The Horned Frogs are 6-3 in league play and enter the weekend with a three game winning streak. First pitch Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.
• TCU stretched its winning streak to three straight with a 5-1 win over UT Arlington Wednesday.
• The Frogs are 5-3 in their current 12-game homestand.
• Jason Coats saw his streak of playing in 135 straight games come to an end.
• Travis Evans became the 16th Horned Frog to make is debut this season.
• Brandon Finnegan earned his first career victory with two shutout innings.
• Kevin Cron hit his first career home run in the sixth inning and it stood up as the game-winner.
• TCU swiped three bases in the victory over UTA, one each from Josh Elander, Keaton Jones and Kyle Von Tungeln.
• Kevin Allen and Kaleb Merck each picked up a save over the weekend.
• The defense has committed just four errors in the last four games.
AIR FORCE NOTABLES
• Despite having just eight wins on the season, the Falcons have picked up three of those wins in conference play.
• Air Force has won two straight, including a 1-0 shutout victory over New Mexico on Saturday and a 16-5 drubbing of Northern Colorado on Tuesday.
• Evan Abrecht was named MW Co-Pitcher of the Week for his complete-game shutout of New Mexico.
• Garrett Custons is the offensive catalyst for the Falcons with a .359 average, four home runs and six stolen bases.
• Alex Bast has a team-high 23 RBIs to go along with a .325 average.
• On the mound, Air Force has tossed six complete games and has a 5.19 ERA.
• Abrecht paces the staff with a 3-1 record to go along with a 2.96 ERA.
• TCU and Air Force will be meeting on the diamond for the 29th time on Friday.
• The Frogs hold a commanding 25-3 record in the series.
• The Frogs are 19-2 against Air Force since joining the Mountain West in 2006.
• The Horned Frogs swept the Falcons in 2011 in Fort Worth.
• TCU is 14-1 all-time against Air Force at Lupton Stadium.
BACK ON TRACK
After a shaky start to the campaign that saw him sitting with a 6.00 ERA after his fifth start of the season, Andrew Mitchell has returned to form. He has been nothing short of solid in his last two starts, not allowing a run in his last 12 innings pitched.
In those 12 innings, he has allowed just four hits and struck out 14. The last two starts have seen him lower his ERA to a 3.82 in 33 innings pitched. He has fanned 42 and is limiting opponents to a .202 batting average.
TCU is seven games into a season-long 12 game homestand. The Frogs have posted a 5-3 so far and has a pair of series wins over UNLV and UNC Wilmington.
Kevin Cron’s bat has been the hottest as he is hitting .333. Jason Coats and Jerrick Suiter have each driven in four runs. Coats, Cron and Josh Elander have each homered. Six different Frogs have swiped a base, including Keaton Jones and Braden Mattson who tallied their first career stolen bases.
On the mound, the pitching staff has been led by Andrew Mitchell who has pitched 12 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts over two starts. The staff has a 2.88 ERA wit h63 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 72 innings pitched.
MATURE BEYOND HIS YEARS
A freshman from North Carolina has been a bright spot in the bullpen this season for the Frogs. Preston Morrison has shown tremendous promise early in his career with a 1.18 ERA in his first 10 collegiate relief appearances.
He showed his dominance against Dallas Baptist as he tossed a then-career-high 5 2/3 innings with four Ks and allowed just one unearned run.
Saturday brought a new challenge for the freshman as he earned his first collegiate start. He tossed a career-high 8 2/3 innings against UNC Wilmington and allowed just two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Morrison is now tied for the team lead with four victories on the season. Opponents have been baffled by the righty this season as he has fanned 29 in 46 2/3 innings pitched and has issued just three walks. They have managed to hit just .205 against him this season.
NEW FACES GALORE
Travis Evans became the latest Horned Frog to make his collegiate debut on Wednesday night when he took the mound in the ninth inning. He marks the 16th Horned Frog to make his debut this season.
All told, the Frogs have utilitzed three junior college transfers, three redshirt freshmen and 10 true freshmen.
One of the keys to victory is keeping an inning alive and scoring with two outs. Against UNC Wilmington the Frogs tallied seven two-out runs, including all five of the runs scored in Saturday’s 5-2 win. On the season, the Horned Frogs have pushed across 61 of their 146 (42%) total runs scored with two outs. As a team, the Frogs are hitting .261 with two outs. Jason Coats leads the team with 11 two-out RBIs.
TCU has allowed 57 of 131 (44%) runs allowed to score with two outs. Opponents are hitting .240 against the Frog pitching staff with two outs.