TCU vs. Baylor Weekend Preview and Game Thread

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

TCU takes on Baylor to close out the season, and a sweep is essential if the Frogs want to keep their hopes on a national seed bid alive.

The following is original content from GoFrogs.com

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FORT WORTH - The 9th-ranked TCU baseball team will wrap up their regular season with a three-game series at Baylor beginning Thursday night. The Horned Frogs have won 21 of their last 23 games.

TCU NOTABLES
• TCU saw its 13-game winning streak snapped with an extra-inning loss to Oklahoma on Saturday. The Frogs bounced back to win the series with a 9-1 victory on Sunday.
• Since the calendar flipped to April, TCU has won 21 of 23 contests.
• Boomer White sits third in the chase for the Big 12 batting title with a .360 average.
• Jerrick Suiter has put together a nine-game hitting streak. He is hitting .406 during the streak.
• TCU maintained its spot atop the Big 12 leaderboard with a team ERA of 2.28. That mark ranks eighth nationally.
• All three members of TCU's weekend rotation rank in the top seven in ERA in the Big 12. The trio has a combined ERA of 1.68 in 230 innings pitched this season.
• Brandon Finnegan became the first Horned Frog since Andrew Mitchell in 2012 to total 100 strikeouts in a season.
• TCU's .976 fielding percentage ranks third in the Big 12 and 18th nationally.

BAYLOR NOTABLES
• Baylor returned to action Tuesday after a week off. The Bears defeated UTSA 5-3 to give them four wins in their last five games.
• The Bears rank last in the Big 12 with a .233 batting average, while their 3.83 ERA ranks seventh.
• Offensively, the Bears average just 3.98 runs per game. They have played in 21 games that have been decided by two runs or less.
• Adam Toth is the lone Bear with an average over .300 as he leads the team with a .312 batting average.
• Toth has flashed tons of speed this season with a team-leading four triples and 13 stolen bases.
• Grayson Porter is the power threat with five home runs and a team-leading 29 RBIs.
• On the mound, Josh Michalec leads the league with 19 saves. That mark ranks third nationally.
• The Bears have committed 75 errors this season for a .960 fielding percentage. The miscues have led to 56 unearned runs for their opponents this season.

SERIES NOTABLES
• TCU and Baylor will be meeting for the 309th time on Thursday night.
• Baylor holds a 159-145-4 lead in the series.
• TCU is 14-11 against Baylor since Jim Schlossnagle took over in 2004, including 3-7 in Waco.
• TCU has won seven of the last 10 meetings.
• The two teams are meeting as conference opponents in Waco for the first time since the 1995 season.
• TCU took a 2-1 series victory in Fort Worth in 2013.
• The Frogs renewed their series with the Bears in 2000 and have played every year since.

OH, WHAT A TURN OF EVENTS
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 21-of-23 games to push their record to 36-14 overall.

TCU has succeeded in all facets of the game, hitting .312 as a team, fielding at a .980 clip and posting a miniscule 1.53 ERA. The pitching staff has posted 10 of its 13 shutouts on the season during the streak.

Boomer White is the team's leading hitter with a .356 average and 22 RBIs. On the mound, Preston Morrison has a 0.37 ERA and is a perfect 5-0.

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 23 contests, the Frogs have raised their batting average 21 points to .286 and are averaging 6.3 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 .240 over the last 23 games. Boomer White is the leading run producer with 22 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 (1.68) among starting trios in the country.

This season, the Frogs have tallied 13 shutouts, limited an opponent to a lone run 13 times and two runs seven times. TCU has allowed three or more runs just 17 times this season.

Since the beginning of April, the Frogs have allowed just 44 runs and have lowered their ERA from 2.91 to 2.28.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Horned Frogs have won eight of their last nine games on the road moving their road record to 10-5 this season. TCU opened up the season with a 2-4 road record before an April 1 contest at UT Arlington spurred the current run.

TCU has outscored its opponents 70-50 and is hitting .272 on the road this season. On the mound, the staff has a 2.89 ERA with six shutouts. Defensively, the Horned Frogs are fielding at a .976 clip.

Derek Odell is TCU's top hitter away from home with a .345 average, while Jerrick Suiter has a team-leading 10 RBIs.

THE CENTURY MARK
In his return to the pitching mound on Friday, Brandon Finnegan hit a milestone as he collected his 100th strikeout of the season.

He is the first Horned Frog since Andrew Mitchell totaled 101 in 2012 to reach 100 Ks in a season and the first since Matt Purke in 2010 to reach the milestone in the regular season.

Since Jim Schlossnagle's arrival on campus, there have been just eight Horned Frogs to collect 100 strikeouts in a season: Lance Broadway, 151 (2005); Brad Furnish, 125 (2006); Jake Arrieta, 111 (2006); Sam Demel, 100 (2005-06); Matt Purke, 142 (2010) and Mitchell.

HEATING UP
Jerrick Suiter has found himself a home in the starting lineup as he has started 15 of the last 17 games.

He has reached base safely in a career-long 14 games and is riding a nine-game hitting streak, which is just one shy of his career long.

Suiter has hit safely in 13 of the last 14 games and has raised his batting average 41 points from .246 to .287. He has a .411 on-base percentage during the streak and is hitting. 360 with five multi-hit games.

DEFENSIVE PROWESS
At the end of March, the Horned Frogs were fielding just .972 as a team and has allowed 15 unearned runs.

Since April 1, TCU has fielded at a .980 clip with just 18 errors leading to nine unearned runs.

TCU has raised its season fielding percentage to .976, a mark that ranks third in the Big 12 and 18th nationally. TCU has surrendered the second-fewest (28) stolen bases this season.

The Frogs had turned just 21 double plays through the first 27, but have turned 25 in the last 23 games.

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