May 31, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - The two-seeded TCU Horned Frogs are set to open play at the NCAA College Station Regional Friday afternoon against the third-seeded Ole Miss Rebels. First pitch on the 2012 postseason is set for 12:35 p.m. All games will be live on ESPN3.
TCU went 1-2 in the Mountain West postseason tournament, dropping its final two games of the tournament.
Derek Odell, Jerrick Suiter and Kevin Cron were all named to the all-tournament squad.
Odell and Kyle Von Tungeln each connected for their second home runs of the season
Cron led the team with seven RBIs in the conference tournament, while Suiter and Odell each tallied a team-high seven hits.
Odell has hit safely in 13 of the last 14 games and raised his batting average 102 points since May 1.
Preston Morrison suffered his first loss of the season on Friday night.
Morrison has walked a batter in his last 17 2/3 innings pitched dating back to May 11 at Air Force.
Stefan Crichton made two appearances in relief during the tournament.
Justin Scharf tied the school record with his 33rd appearance on Saturday.
TCU earned its fourth at-large bid under Schlossnagle, having done so in 2005, 2009 and 2011.
The Frogs are a No. 2 seed in a Regional for the third time in school history, earning two seeds in 2005 and 2007.
Previously, the Frogs have been a one-seed three times (2009, 2010, 2011), a three-seed twice (2004, 2008) and a four seed once (2006).
The Frogs are one of only 10 teams to be in the last nine regionals.
TCU is traveling to a Regional for the first time since the 2008 season.
College Station will mark the six different road venue that the Frogs will play at in a Regional.
The Frogs have played in a Regional in Austin, Texas (2004), Waco, Texas (2005), Norman, Okla. (2006), Houston (Rice), Texas (2007) and Stillwater, Okla. (2008).
The Frogs are 14-16 (.467) all-time in the NCAA Regionals.
In postseason play, TCU is 20-21 (.488) all-time.
TCU is 7-14 (.333) all-time in Regionals played away from Fort Worth.
TCU and Ole Miss are meeting for the 11th time in program history.
The Frogs are 6-4 all-time against the Rebels.
TCU and Ole Miss split a series earlier this season at Lupton Stadium.
TCU and Texas A&M are meeting for the 252nd time. A&M leads 160-87-4.
The Aggies took a 4-1 victory earlier this season in Fort Worth.
SCOUTING THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies (42-16; 16-8 Big 12)
The Aggies went 1-2 in the Big 12 tournament, beating Kansas and dropping back-to-back games against Missouri and Kansas.
Texas A&M relies heavily on speed with 127 stolen bases in 169 attempts. That mark ranks fourth nationally.
Seven Aggies have at least 10 stolen bases. Tyler Naquin and Krey Bratsen lead the way with 21 each.
Offensively, Naquin leads the way with a .384 batting average. Jacob House is the power threat with eight home runs and 55 RBIs driven in.
The pitching staff is one of the elite ones in the country, leading the way in WHIP (1.12), ranking fourth in K:BB ratio (3.45) and sitting fifth in ERA (2.86).
Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha lead the pitching staff with a combined record of 18-4. Stripling has fanned 110 batters, while Wacha has 107 strikeouts on the season.
Defensively, the Aggies boast a .971 fielding percentage. Only two Aggies have 10 or more errors on the season.
No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels (35-24; 14-16 SEC)
Ole Miss went 1-2 in the SEC tournament, dropping contests to Kentucky and LSU while beating Arkansas. The win over the Razorbacks broke a five game losing streak for the Rebels.
The Rebels have the most pop in the College Station Regional with 37 home runs on the season, led by Zach Kirksey (13) and Matt Snyder (12).
Alex Yarbrough is the offensive leader with a .389 average, while Snyder is the run producer with 57 RBIs.
On the mound, the staff relies heavily on the strikeout with 490 on the season. They rank third nationally with a 3.45 K:BB ratio and ninth in strikeouts per nine innings at 8.5.
Bobby Wahl anchors the staff with a 6-3 record to go along with a 2.26 ERA in 15 starts.
The back end of the bullpen features Brett Huber and his team-leading 10 saves.
Defensively, the Rebels are one of the top fielding teams in the country, ranking 20th with a .976 fielding percentage.
No. 4 Dayton Flyers (31-28; 17-7 Atlantic 10)
Dayton is making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament after sweeping through the A-10 conference tournament with a pair of wins over Richmond and a victory over St. Joseph's.
The Flyers lead the nation with 162 stolen bases in 195 attempts. Eight different Flyers have tallied double figure stolen bases, led by Brian Blasik's 35. That mark ranks 7th nationally.
Blasik leads Dayton with a .344 average, while CJ Gillman is the top run producer with 63 RBIs.
Bobby Glover has nine of the Flyers' 33 home runs on the season.
On the mound, Dayton is led by Tim Bury's 8-2 record in 18 appearances.
As a staff, the Flyers have tossed nine complete games.
Burny Mitchem anchors the bullpen with seven saves in 24 appearances.
As the years go by, one thing has remained constant -- TCU's appearance in the postseason. Since Jim Schlossnagle's arrival on campus nine years ago, the Frogs have been in an NCAA Regional.
TCU is in some elite company with nine straight appearances, as only 10 other schools can lay claim to that accomplishment. Those 13 schools include: Rice, Virginia, Arkansas, Oral Roberts, TCU, South Carolina, Florida State, North Carolina, Cal State Fullerton and Miami (Fla.).
Three schools dropped out this season that had been in the regionals each of the past six years: Texas, Southern Miss and Arizona State.
Prior to coming to TCU, Jim Schlossnagle guided the UNLV Rebels to the tournament in 2003, giving him 10 straight postseason appearances.
A MEMORABLE DAY
Preston Morrison etched his name in the history books on Saturday, May 19 when he tossed a one-hit shutout against San Diego State. After hitting a batter in the third inning, Morrison retired 20 straight batters until a runner reached on an error with one out in the ninth. All told, Morrison allowed just three total base runners.
The one-hitter is the first since Kyle Winkler and Erik Miller combined to one hit Kansas on Feb. 19, 2011. It is the first solo one-hitter since Derek Lee tossed a seven-inning one-hitter against Baylor on April 6, 1996. The last nine-inning one-hitter thrown by one person came back on March 11, 1986 when Dwayne Williams one-hit Oklahoma City. It was the 17th one-hitter in school history.
The TCU pitching staff has allowed more than five runs in a game four since April 5, a span of 28 games. On the season, the Horned Frog pitching staff has allowed five or less runs in 43 games. Even more impressive is that in 26 games, the Frogs have allowed two or less runs.
The bullpen has held opponents scoreless in 24 of 52 games and hasn't allowed an earned run in 30 of 54 games. The starters are 19-13 with a 3.64 ERA, while the bullpen boasts a 2.64 ERA with a 17-6 record.
FINDING THEIR GROOVE
The freshmen trio of Derek Odell, Kevin Cron and Jerrick Suiter put together an impressive conference tournament. All three were honored on the MW All-Tournament team.
Filling in for an injured Jason Coats in left field, Suiter paced the team with a .636 batting average. He tallied multiple hits in all three games and scored five runs.
Cron hit .417 with three extra bases and a team-high seven RBIs. In Friday's win, Cron drove in a career-high five runs and hit his third home run of the season.
No one has been swinging a hotter bat than Derek Odell. He has hit safely in all but one game in the month of May and raised his batting average 102 points (.174-.276). In the conference tournament, Odell hit .467 (7-for-15) with four extra base hits and four RBIs.
The Horned Frogs rank seventh nationally with an average of 1.11 double plays turned per game. On the season, the Frogs have turned 62 double plays, 48 of which have been of the ground ball variety.
NEW FACES GALORE
16 Horned Frogs have made their TCU debuts this season. All told, the Frogs have utilized three junior college transfers, three redshirt freshmen and nine true freshmen. At the plate, the Frogs have seen nine different players get their first at-bats. On the mound, the pitching staff features nine new faces. Axel Johnson and Jerrick Suiter have seen time both in the field and on the mound.
WARMER TEMPS = HOTTER BATS
The month of May saw the Horned Frogs win 10 of 14 games to improve to 36-19 overall. Offensively, the Horned Frogs' offense came to life as they hit .313 for the month and averaged 6.6 runs per game. The extra base hits were there as well as the team boasted a .447 slugging percentage in the month. Derek Odell and Kevin Cron tied for the team lead with 24 hits each, while Odell paced the team with a .453 average. Cron was the top run producer with 16 RBIs.