MWC Title On The Line, New Mexico Comes To Town

Andrew Mitchell will look to tame the Lobos Friday night. (PHOTO BY KEITH ROBINSON)

Before this series started, I wrote that TCU needed to go 3-1 over the next four at a minimum to keep their likely #2 seed in play. Well, they are 1-0 with the hardest game behind them, now all that is left is to take care of business against a good but not great New Mexico team.

Lets be real honest about this though, both of these teams are good-not-great. New Mexico is the best offensive team in the conference while TCU has pitched better than anybody.

TCU can hit sometimes too, but just not consistently. The core of this team: Jason Coats, Josh Elander and Brance Rivera have all been (pardon the pun) hit or miss this year, with each going into slumps at times. Brance is mired in a bad one right now, the worst I have ever seen him have. Too bad, there is not a better person on that team and you want a kid like that to have some success and fun his senior year as he decides what to do next in life.

A classic battle that will likely decide the MWC Regular Season Championship. TCU has won this title every year they have been in the MWC and I expect nothing less in 2012. Look for at least 2/3 this weekend, and shoot up a little prayer for a sweep, lord knows we need it!

MWC STANDINGS
1. New Mexico(12-3)
2. TCU(11-4)
3. San Diego State(9-9)
4. UNLV(5-13)
5. Air Force(5-13)

TEAM RPI
TCU:
#36
New Mexico: #88

TEAM SOS
TCU:
#49
New Mexico: #69

TEAM RANKINGS
TCU:
#27 (Collegiate Baseball)
Texas A&M: NONE

DAY TIME RADIO WEB STREAMING GAMETRACKER
Friday 6:30pm CST CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE
Saturday 5:00pm CST CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE
Sunday 12:30pm CST CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE

TCU NOTABLES
• The Horned Frogs snapped an eight-game losing streak against Oklahoma Tuesday night with a 4-3 walk-off victory.
• TCU has won 13 of its last 15 games and four straight.
Derek Odell provided the heroics with two hits off the bench, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
• TCU improved to 5-0 in games started by Preston Morrison.
Brandon Finnegan has not allowed a run in any of his 10 relief appearances and has tossed 15 straight scoreless innings.
Kyle Von Tungeln stretched his hitting streak to eight games.
Jason Coats is hitting .500 in his last four games.
Kevin Allen notched his second win in the last four games to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Jim Schlossnagle won his 450th career game on Saturday. Tuesday night marked his 375th win as the head coach at TCU.

NEW MEXICO NOTABLES
• The Lobos have won 11 of their last 14 contests, including their last four straight.
• New Mexico holds a one-game lead over the Frogs in the conference standings.
• New Mexico is one of the top offensive clubs in the country. Its .318 team batting average ranks seventh nationally, while their 518 total hits is tops in the nation.
• DJ Peterson ranks third nationally with a .437 average.
• Josh Melendez has been a menace on the bases with 19 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
• On the mound, the staff boasts a 4.57 ERA led by Gera Sanchez's 1.63 ERA in 16 appearances.
• Both Sanchez and Josh Walker each have six wins to lead the team.
• Opponents are hitting .285 against the staff.
• The staff has plunked 58 batters this season and issued 158 walks.
• Defensively, the Lobos are fielding at a .968 clip.

SERIES NOTABLES
• Friday's meeting with the Lobos will be the 56th in the series.
• TCU holds a 38-17 advantage in the series.
• Since joining the MW in 2006, the Frogs are 24-10 against the Lobos.
• New Mexico took 2-of-3 from the Horned Frogs earlier this season in Albuquerque.
• TCU is 12-3 against New Mexico at Lupton Stadium.

OFF THE BENCH HEROICS
Derek Odell came off the bench Tuesday night to spur the Frogs' comeback. His base hit in the eighth started the two-run rally that tied the game and his base hit in the ninth inning drove in the game-winner. The pinch-hit single in the eighth inning was his first of the season.

MOUND DOMINATION
The TCU pitching staff has not allowed more than five runs in a game since giving up seven to UNC Wilmington on April 5, a span of 15 games.
On the season, the Horned Frog pitching staff has allowed five or less runs in 33 games. Even more impressive is that in 19 games, the Frogs have allowed two or less runs. Eight different Frogs have started a game for TCU this season. Collectively, the have an ERA of 3.90 in 194 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .256 against the staff. They are 13-10, led by Stefan Crichton'sfive wins.
Even more impressive is the group of relievers. Thirteen Frogs have combined to produce a 2.21 ERA in 183 1/3 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .232 against them. The bullpen has held opponents scoreless in 20 of 42 games and hasn't allowed an earned run in 24 of 42 games.

A WEEKEND OF FIRSTS
Three Frogs had a memorable weekend as they two Horned Frogs notched their first career wins, while another picked up his first career hit and RBI. On Saturday, Travis Evans allowed one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings to pick up career win No. 1.
In Sunday's contest, Caleb St. Laurent tallied a pinch-hit RBI-single in a two-run seventh inning. Both the hit and RBI were the first of his career. Additionally, Trey Teakell pitched four scoreless innings to earn his first career win on the mound.

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