TCU Heads West; Set To Battle USC




May 1, 2013

pacific

TCU (21-23) @ USC (16-27)

 Date (Time)  Thursday: May 2 (8 p.m. CT)
 Friday: May 3 (8 p.m. CT)
 Saturday: May 4 (2 p.m. CT)
 Location  Dedeaux Field | Los Angeles, Calif.
 TV
 None
 Starting Pitchers
 Friday: Preston Morrison vs. Bob Wheatley
 Saturday: Brandon Finnegan vs. Wyatt Strahan
 Sunday: Andrew Mitchell vs. Kyle Twomey
 Radio Listing  KTCU 88.7 FM
 Listen Online  Thursday | Friday | Saturday
 Gametracker  Thursday | Friday | Saturday
 Game Notes   TCU
 Twitter Updates  Baseball Twitter


FORT WORTH - The TCU baseball team kicks off a six-game road trip Thursday night at USC. The Horned Frogs and the Trojans will hit the diamond at 8 (CST) for game one.

TCU NOTABLES
• TCU's streak of three straight conference series wins came to an end at Kansas State this past weekend.
• Despite the series loss, the pitching staff held the nation's best hitting team to a .242 batting average over the weekend.
• The Frogs stole a season-high eight bases in the win over Texas Southern on Tuesday.
Cody Jones has four stolen bases in his last three games to raise his team-leading total to 10.
Jantzen Witte has reached base safely in 12 games.
• After posting its fifth shutout of the season, TCU lowered its ERA to 2.72.
• Five pitchers held Texas Southern to two hits and just four base runners in the game.
Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison are among the top 10 pitchers in the league with their 2.12 and 1.31 ERAs, respectively.
• Defensively, the Frogs rank second in the Big 12 with a .975 fielding percentage.

USC NOTABLES
• USC wrapped up an eight-game road trip with a 9-5 loss to Pepperdine on Tuesday. The Trojans went 3-5 on the road trip, including a series-win at Utah.
• The loss stretched the Trojans losing streak to four games. USC was swept by No. 7 Oregon State over the weekend.
• USC hit four home runs in the loss to Pepperdine, bringing their season total to 18.
• Offensively, the Trojans are led by Adam Landecker's .331 average. James Roberts leads the team with 21 RBIs.
• Runs are at a premium for the Trojans as they are averaging just 4.0 per game.
• On the mound, the staff boasts a 4.92 ERA led by Bob Wheatley's 1.84 ERA in nine starts.
• Nigel Nootbaar leads the team with three saves.
• The staff is allowing opponents to hit .293 and has surrendered 20 home runs.
• Defensively the Trojans are solid with a .974 fielding percentage.

SERIES NOTABLES
• Friday night's meeting will mark just the second all-time between the two schools.
• USC won the only previous meeting 8-3 on March 8, 2002.
• The game was played as part of the Express College Classic at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas.
Jim Schlossnagle coached against USC once when he was the head coach at UNLV.
• USC defeated the Rebels 7-2 in California.

ROAD NOTABLES
• This weekend marks the second of three straight weekends away from home.
• The Frogs have 10 games left in the regular season, six of them are away from home.
• TCU is 7-10 away from home this season.
• TCU is 42-14 in road series under Schlossnagle.
• TCU is 11-7 in non-conference series under Schlossnagle.
• TCU owns a record of 140-94 on the road under the direction of Schlossnagle.

GETTING THE BALL ROLLING
On Oct. 24, Cody Jones returned to the top of the lineup after a four game shift to the bottom of the order. The move got things rolling for Jones as he has taken off in the lead-off spot.

In the 22 games since the return to the top of the order, Jones is hitting .273 (21-for-77). More importantly his on-base percentage is .411. Fifteen of his 28 walks have come in the last 22 contests. Jones has reached base in 19 of those 22 games.

On the season, Jones has made 38 starts in the lead-off spot. He is hitting .243 in those games with an on-base percentage of .365.

FLASHING THEIR SPEED
Tuesday night's win over Texas Southern saw the Frogs put the running game on display. TCU tallied a season-high eight stolen bases in the contest. Five different Horned Frogs were beneficiaries of the running game. Cody Jones, Kevin Cron and Paul Hendrix each tallied two stolen bases, while Jerrick Suiter and Jantzen Witte stole the other two.

The eight stolen bases are the most in a game under the direction of head coach Jim Schlossnagle.

BOUNCING BACK
A dismal start to April saw Jantzen Witte battle through an 0-for-19 slump. A fourth-inning base hit against Oklahoma State on April 13 kick-started a nine-game hitting streak that saw Witte raise his average 32 points. He hit .400 (14-for-35) during the streak with four mutli-hit games.

While the streak came to an end on Tuesday, Witte drew a walk to stretch his streak of reaching base to 12 games. Additionally, he tacked on his team-leading 27th RBI.

START ME UP
TCU has used seven pitchers in a starting role this season. They have more than done their jobs in giving TCU a chance to win with a collective ERA of 2.79.

In 235 1/3 innings pitched, they have racked up 192 strikeouts and issued just 72 walks. Opponents are hitting just .235 against them.

Preston Morrison and Brandon Finnegan have 11 starts each. The duo has lasted at least five innings in 19 of the 22 starts. All 11 of Morrison's starts have gone five-plus innings. Finnegan has two of TCU's three complete games.

 

 


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