TCU Opens Tournament Play Wednesday

May 20, 2014

Ole Miss

#12 TCU (38-15) vs. Baylor (24-29)

 Date (Time)  Wednesday: May 21 (12:30 p.m. CT)
 Location  Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla.
 TV
 Wednesday: FOX College Sports
 Starting Pitchers
 Wednesday: Jordan Kipper vs. Dillon Newman
 Radio Listing  KTCU 88.7 FM
 Radio Talent  Chuck LaMendola (Play-By-Play)
 Tournament Info  Tournament Central
 Gametracker  Wednesday
 Listen Live  Wednesday
 Game Notes  Game Notes
 Twitter Updates  Baseball Twitter


OKLAHOMA CITY - The TCU Horned Frogs are set to open play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament Wednesday afternoon against Baylor at 12:30. All tournament games can be see on FOX College Sports.

TCU NOTABLES
• TCU closed out the regular season with a series win at Baylor.
• The Horned Frogs have won 23 of their last 26 games.
• In Friday's 5-0 win over Baylor, the Frogs established a Big 12 record with its 14th shutout of the year.
• TCU has held an opponent to one run or less 28 times this season.
• TCU ranks in the top three in the league in all three phases of the game.
• TCU's team ERA of 2.27 ranked first in the Big 12 and ranks in seventh nationally.
Derek Odell hit his first home run of the season in Saturday's 7-1 victory.
Cody Jones collected his 23rd stolen base, tying him with Ramon Moses 2004 total for the most stolen bases in the Jim Schlossnagle era.
Preston Morrison has surrendered just five runs (three earned) in his last 62 1/3 innings pitched.
Brandon Finnegan is the lone Big 12 pitcher to have 100 strikeouts this season. He has 103 Ks.

INSIDE TCU'S BRACKET
• TCU's side of the bracket features No. 3 Kansas, No. 6. West Virginia and No. 7 Baylor.
• The Frogs posted 2-1 road series victories over Kansas and Baylor and swept West Virginia at Lupton Stadium.
• TCU is a combined 7-2 against its side of the bracket.
• The other bracket features No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 Texas and No. 8 Oklahoma.
• TCU was a combined 7-5 against the teams that comprise the other bracket.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT NOTABLES
• For just the fourth time under Coach Schlossnagle, the Horned Frogs failed to win the tournament crown in 2013. The only other seasons they didn't win were 2009, 2011 and 2012 .
• TCU has won six titles in the last 10 years.
• TCU is 26-10 in conference tournaments under Jim Schlossnagle.
• TCU has had 37 players honored on the all-tournament squads over the last 10 years.
Kevin Cron, Derek Odell and Jerrick Suiter all have all-tournament plaques on their resumes.
• TCU is 21-7 in road tournament games since the 2004 season.
• Three of TCU's 10 losses in the conference tournament have come at Lupton Stadium, one was in Houston in 2004, four in Las Vegas and two in Oklahoma City.
• The Frogs have won tournament titles at Houston, at Southern Miss, at UNLV twice, at TCU and at San Diego State.

NEUTRAL SITE NOTABLES
• TCU will be playing its seventh contest of the season at a neutral site.
• The Horned Frogs are 4-2 in games played at a neutral site this season.
• TCU holds a record of 57-29 in neutral site games under head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
• The Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament will be the third tournament the Horned Frogs take part in this season.
• TCU played in the Kleberg Bank Classic in Corpus Christi and went 3-0.
• The Frogs went 1-2 in the Houston College Classic.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP
The senior class is small in number with just two members, but both have played an integral role in the Frogs' success this season.

Dylan Fitzgerald has put together a career-year with a .330 average, 32 runs scored, 62 hits, 13 doubles, two home runs and 29 RBIs. He was TCU's leading hitter in Big 12 play with a .364 average. Since April 1, Fitzgerald is hitting a team-best .355.

Kyle Bacak has seen a surge in his offensive output as he has put up career-highs in all offensive categories. Since April 1, Bacak is hitting .271.

A WALL BEHIND THE PLATE
Catching one of the best pitching staffs in the nation is not an easy job, but Kyle Bacak has gotten the job done behind the plate.

After struggling through a junior campaign that saw him record 15 passed balls and the pitching staff throw 55 wild pitches, the senior has had a bounce-back year. Bacak has just five passed balls this season, while the team has recorded just 30 wild pitches.

Defensively, Bacak boasts a .991 fielding percentage, leads the team with four pick-offs and has thrown out 40 percent of base stealers.

UNDERSTATED
In three seasons on campus, Preston Morrison has quietly put together an impressive career. He boasts a career ERA of 1.61 in 319 innings pitched. Morrison ranks fourth all-time in innings pitched and fifth all-time with 24 career wins.

He has started 40 games as part of 51 career appearances. In 31 of the 40 starts, Morrison has pitched at least six innings. He has shutout or combined to shutout nine opponents.

No pitcher has been hotter than Morrison during the Frogs' winning streak. Since allowing four runs in two innings of work against Texas Tech on March 22, Morrison has been nearly untouchable. In 62 1/3 innings pitched, the junior has allowed just five runs (three earned) for a 0.43 ERA. He has held the opponent scoreless in five of the eight starts and is a perfect 6-0.

A TALE OF TWO SEASONS
TCU finished the month of March with an average 15-12 record and was last in the Big 12 with a 2-4 conference mark.

Since that time, the Horned Frogs have reeled off a blistering stretch of baseball that has seen them win 23-of-26 games to push their record to 38-15 overall.

TCU has succeeded in all facets of the game, hitting .307 as a team, fielding at a .979 clip and posting a miniscule 1.59 ERA. The pitching staff has posted nine of its 14 shutouts on the season during the streak.

Dylan Fitzgerald is the team's leading hitter with a .355 average, while Boomer White paces the team with 22 RBIs. On the mound, Preston Morrison has a 0.32 ERA and is a perfect 6-0.

OFFENSIVE SURGE
At the end of March, the Horned Frogs were sitting at 15-12, batting .265 as a team and averaging just 4.3 runs per game.

Over the last 26 contests, the Frogs have raised their batting average 20 points to .286 and are averaging 6.2 runs per game.

It's been a total team effort as seven of the nine members of the starting lineup have seen a dramatic increase in their season averages. Kyle Bacak has seen the biggest surge as he has raised his average from .217 to .246 over the last 26 games. Boomer White is the leading run producer with 24 RBIs since April 1.

STINGY STAFF
The Horned Frog pitching staff is on pace to set the lowest team ERA since the 1973 campaign.

TCU's starting weekend rotation of Brandon Finnegan, Preston Morrison and Tyler Alexander boast the third lowest ERA (1.78) among starting trios in the country.

This season, the Frogs have tallied a Big 12 record 14 shutouts, limited an opponent to a lone run 14 times and two runs seven times. TCU has allowed three or more runs just 18 times this season.

Since the beginning of April, the Frogs have allowed just 51 runs (44 earned) and have lowered their ERA from 2.91 to 2.27.

DUCKS ON THE POND
In Thursday's 6-3 loss to Baylor, the Horned Frogs stranded 11 base runners. One of the biggest factors in the Horned Frogs' 15 losses this season in the number of base runners left on. In six of the 15 losses, TCU stranded at least 11 runners. TCU averages 9.3 runners left on base in losses and only 8.2 in wins.

 

 


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