Brandon Finnegan will start the opening game of the NCAA Super Regional.
June 7, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Riding a four-game winning streak, the TCU Baseball team is set to make its third NCAA Super Regional appearance in the last four years. The Horned Frogs are set to face the National No. 2 seed UCLA Bruins in a best two-out-of-three series starting Friday night.
TCU advanced out of the loser's bracket with four straight wins to earn its third trip in the last four years to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Justin Scharf was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Regional after going 2-0 with a save in the Regional.
Also named to the all-tournament team were: Josh Elander, Kevin Cron, Derek Odell, Kyle Von Tungeln, Jerrick Suiter and Stefan Crichton.
TCU scored 52 runs in the five Regional games, second most among tournament teams.
Brance Rivera is tied for third in the tournament field with nine RBIs.
The Horned Frogs launched 10 home runs in the five tournament games, including three by Kevin Cron.
The Frogs have homered in nine straight games.
The Horned Frog pitching staff has held opponents to under five runs 45 times this season.
Derek Oell has a hit in 17 of the last 19 games he's played.
The Frogs flashed their speed on the bases, stealing 13 bases in 14 attempts in College Station.
The Bruins are the No. 2 National Seed in the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA has won seven straight dating back to a 6-2 win at UC Irvine on May 22.
The Bruins swept through the NCAA Regional defeating Creighton twice and New Mexico once.
UCLA and Arizona shared the Pac-12 conference championship with a 20-10 record.
In the Regional, the Bruins hit .347 and posted a 1.67 ERA.
The Bruins are a complete team, hitting .312, pitching to the tune of a 3.18 ERA and fielding at a .976 clip.
Jeff Gelalich paces the offensive attack with a .372 batting average and 11 home runs. Trevor Brown is the run producer with 50 RBIs.
Adam Plutko is the ace of the staff with a 10-3 record to go along with a 2.56 ERA in 16 starts.
Opponents are hitting just .242 off the staff.
Closer Scott Grigg ranks ninth nationally with 15 saves.
TCU and UCLA are meeting in the postseason for the second time in the last three years.
The Bruins lead the series 2-1 with all three meetings coming in the College World Series in 2010.
UCLA took wins of 6-3 and 10-3 while the Frogs handed the Bruins a 6-2 loss in the Series as well.
In NCAA postseason play, TCU is 24-22 (.522) all-time.
The Frogs are 3-3 all-time in NCAA Super Regionals.
The Frogs only other appearances in the Super Retional came in 2009 and 2010 and both were Austin at the University of Texas.
TCU is 1-1 in Super Regional series.
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.).
Additionally, TCU is one of eight schools to have appeared in three of the last four Super Regionals (Florida, Arizona State, Arkansas, Florida State, Virginia, Texas and South Carolina).
Prior to coming to TCU, Jim Schlossnagle guided the UNLV Rebels to the tournament in 2003, giving him 10 straight postseason appearances.
A MEMORABLE WEEKEND
Justin Scharf had an outstanding weekend in College Station. Along with setting the school record for appearances with 37, he was also named Most Outstanding Player of the Regional. He made four appearances and posted a 2-0 record to go along with a save. He had a 1.08 ERA in 8 1/3 innings pitched.
The TCU pitching staff has allowed more than five runs in a game six times since April 5, a span of 33 games.
On the season, the Horned Frog pitching staff has allowed five or less runs in 46 games. Even more impressive is that in 28 games, the Frogs have allowed two or less runs. The starters are 21-13 with a 3.66 ERA, while the bullpen boasts a 2.93 ERA with a 19-7 record.
The Horned Frogs rank fourth nationally with an average of 1.13 double plays turned per game. On the season, the Frogs have turned 69 double plays, 52 of which have been of the ground ball variety.
NEW FACES GALORE
16 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.
LET THEM FLY!
After hitting just 26 home runs in 55 games heading into the NCAA tournament, the Horned Frogs exploded with 10 home runs in five Regional games.
Kevin Cron is tied for the national lead with three long balls in the NCAA tournament. Derek Odell and Josh Elander each collected a pair of home runs, while Brance Rivera, Josh Gonzales and Jantzen Witte each homered as well.
Elander's home run against Ole Miss on Monday night was his 10th, making him the first Frog since 2010 to have double-digit home runs.
TCU has hit a home run in nine straight games dating back to May 20 against San Diego State. In that stretch, the Frogs have collected 15 home runs.
WARMER TEMPS = HOTTER BATS
On April 27 against Manhattan the Frogs mustered just four hits, dropping their batting average to .243 on the season. Since that game, the Horned Frogs are hitting .321 as a team and are averaging eight runs per game. No bat has been hotter than Derek Odell who paces the team with a .413 average. Nipping at his heels is Kevin Cron with his .398 average and 26 RBIs. Coincidentally, the increase in offensive production has led to a 16-5 record.
FLASHING THE WHEELS
The Horned Frogs flashed some speed on the bases this past weekend, swing 13 bases in 14 attempts. Seven of those stolen bases came in a 10-2 win over Texas A&M. Leading the way with three stolen bases was Jerrick Suiter.
On the season, the Horned Frogs have stolen just 63 bases in 94 attempts. Josh Elander paces the team with 14, followed closely by Kyle Von Tungeln's 12.
FILLING SOME BIG SHOES
On May 20, the Horned Frogs were dealt a huge blow as senior left field Jason Coats suffered a season-ending injury. Stepping into his spot on the field was freshman Jerrick Suiter. In eight games since being inserted into the lineup, Suiter has notched a hit in every game and is hitting .516 (16-for-31).
Freshman Kevin Cron moved up to the three hole in the lineup and has produced 15 RBIs to go along with a .313 batting average and four home runs.