It was more of the same for Frogs this weekend. Great Friday game, followed by two losses. The series, as a whole, was an improvement from the nightmarish Tech series, but the lack of offense continues to haunt TCU's 2014 season.
Weekend In Review:
Brandon Finnegan, once again had another gem on the hill Friday night. The junior tallied 8 strikeouts Friday night, but sadly lost the nation’s strikeout lead to Matt Imhof of Cal Poly. TCU’s bats collected 3 runs in the first inning, and that’s all need as the Frogs got the win in the series opener in Stillwater.
In comparison to the latter two games last weekend, the good news for the Frogs this weekend was that they were competitive in the non-Finnegan games. The Frogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead Saturday after some nice hitting from Odell, Suiter, and an RBI from Connor Castellano. Oklahoma State responded in the third and evened the game at 1-1, and the game stayed 1-1 until Oklahoma State’s dramatic walk-off win in the 9th.
Sunday the bats had a little more impact, but TCU fell short 9-4. TCU once again jumped out to an early lead in the fifth thanks to Boomer White and Derek Odell notching some early hits, and capped off Jerrick Suiter and Dylan Delso, who each drove in a run, making the game 2-0. Oklahoma State responded at the bottom of the second, scoring 3 to retake the lead. TCU regained the lead in the third after some solid plate work from Derek Odell, allowed Suiter to double in the gap and drive in a run. OSU then put up 6 unanswered throughout the rest of the game, and took the series, winning the game 9-4. Tyler Alexander, now 3-3, didn’t get a lot of work in, after Oklahoma State tacked on five runs early, two of which were earned.
Friday was pretty much perfect baseball for the Frogs. Even though he "failed" to collect double-digit strikeouts, Finnegan was his usual, dominate self. All in all, another great Friday night.
Preston Morrison, who had a nightmare start the previous Saturday, looked true to form Saturday in Stillwater. Morrison allowed one run on 7 hits, struck out 3 and had no walks. While Morrison’s stats may not pop like Finnegan’s, he’s more of a Greg Maddux ground ball pitcher; as a result, hits are going to happen. But the allowing just one run and not giving up any walks, Morrison was the pitcher Saturday that TCU needs him to be…so good on you P-Mo.
Jerrek Suiter and Derek Odell were consistently effective over the weekend at the plate, and did everything feasible to keep to TCU competitive in the latter half of the series.
Dylan Fitzgerald was also solid this weekend, and has now reached base safely in 23 straight games. Fitzgerald kept his hitting streak alive Friday and Saturday, but it was unfortunately snapped on Sunday at 8 games.
"We've shown the ability to play really well for one game," Schlossnagle said. "We need to do it for an extended period of time. That's a challenge."
Schloss sums up the general feeling, but now it’s more of how TCU’s going to do it…
Games like Friday happen…it’s just good baseball, so there’s nothing to really complain about. But on Saturday TCU left ten or more runners on base for the ninth time this season and on Sunday, TCU grounded into a season-high three double plays. The Frogs also collected a mediocre 21 hits over the weekend.
It goes without saying, but these things can’t happen if the Frogs want to get back to Omaha, or even to the post-season at all. Continuing to leave a high number of runners on base, shows a real divide in the team’s offense and without a little more balance, the season is looking more and more like 2013.
The Frogs also only have two starters batting over .300, Boomer White and Dylan Fitzgerald. The next closest is Derek Odell, who’s batting .279
MMM Cy Young: Brandon Finnegan.
MMM MVP: Jerrick Suiter
Back from a back injury on Saturday, Suiter started his first game since March 4th. Despite not playing Friday, Suiter finished the weekend with 4 hits and 3 RBIs.
Because I Can: Preston Morrison
Like I said above, Morrison showed signs of the P-Mo we know and love.
C’Mon Man: Kevin Cron
Cron ranks in the top 60 nationally in HPBs this season. It makes for a nice OBP, but Cron’s not really a threat on the base-path and there's no one really driving him in right now. We need Cron knocking the piss out of the ball.
By The Numbers