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TCU Baseball: DBU Preview and National Seeding Talk

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Coach Schloss goes for win No. 500 as Mitchell Traver and the Horned Frogs looked to give themselves a little more breathing room in their quest for National Title. But they're playing a pretty good Dallas Baptist team, who are also looking to get one of College Baseball's 8 coveted bids.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

What a game for good ol' Jim to potentially get win No. 500 tonight. Sadly, that milestone may not come at home--and meaning it would take a loss against DBU tonight, and a sweep in Morgantown this weekend, I don't think he's losing any sleep over it. What he may be losing sleep over, however, is where his team will end up come tournament time. Despite being in second place in the Big 12, TCU has positioned themselves quite nicely for one of the coveted 8 National Seeds.

But the Dallas Baptist Patriots (words that will always make me laugh) have quite the team themselves, and are on the bubble for one of those 8 seeds. A win tonight against the Frogs will help them leverage that position. Conversely for TCU, they have this game and the Oklahoma series in a few weeks to prove that they're the real deal and are worthy of a National Seed.

DBU Preview & National Seeds

The sweep over Texas definitely helped, but the Frogs will have to play nearly perfect baseball from here on out if they want to win a Big 12 regular season title, as they're a game behind Oklahoma State in the standings (and OSU has the tiebreaker). The good news for TCU is that a regular season title will likely secure them a National Seed. Failing to do that, winning the conference tournament (or at least by performing better than OSU) would more than likely get them one of the 8 coveted spots as well.

Name

Record

ERA

K/9

BB/9

RHP Mitchell Traver

6-1

1.93

8.77

2.63

RHP Gavin Fritz

3-1

3.37

4.34

3.86

The Dallas Baptist game is important for a few reasons. Most immediately, it’s one of the last impressive regular seasons wins TCU can get before the Oklahoma series. Second, Mitchell Traver’s pitching against one of the better teams in the country. It’s also completely possible--and allowing to get ahead of ourselves for a minute--that this will be TCU’s Super Regional matchup.

Don’t get me wrong; Dallas Baptist is a great team. Drew Turbin (.350/.474/.541), who has team highs in hits (55), runs (40), doubles (13), triples (4), and total bases (85) is one of the most exciting players in the country. However, if the Frogs were to play these guys in Fort Worth in a Super Regional, it’d be an ideal situation. The Patriots--were they originally something else?--being a really good baseball team that’s gaining National attention is one of the best things to happen to TCU this year. So as a Top-15, and the Frogs’ potential "paired host", the stats are aligned for this DFW Super Regional to take place. And if you’re TCU, I don’t think you can ask for a better one. Yes, their fans see this game as rivalry, whereas Frog fans see them more of a nuisance who beat them in 2011 in their own Regional. The Frogs have only lost two games at home, however. And we all know what kind of atmosphere the fans bring come Regional time.

Like we said above, TCU needs some help to get a National Seed; but it’s very much within reach. We’ve talked about this so many times before, but this isn’t the team from last year, meaning: it’s not a team that’s going to make fans hold their breath and rely strictly on pitching.

TCU laid eggs against Oklahoma State and Kansas State. The former is obviously a much better team; but just think for a minute about what TCU’s done thus far, those two series aside. They went to California and beat Vanderbilt and UCLA--both of whom are also projected as National Seeds--and the team they lost to on an ambiguous call, USC, is a projected No.1 (Non-National) seed. Oh, and the Arizona State team they took the series from? They’re a No. 1 (Non-National) seed as well; and on the bubble for a National Seed.

So with all of this to digest, is it really that silly to say that this team is in better shape than they were last year? I know we all miss Brandon Finnegan, and some even miss Boomer White; but this is a team that’s scoring 5.8 runs per game as opposed to the low-5s they were last year with comparable, if not better, pitching once you consider (a) the more experienced bullpen and (b) realize the stats will be slightly skewed with the new baseballs.

Prediction:

The Patriots show up at home, but Mitchell Traver and TCU’s bullpen simply overwhelm them in Dallas. Frogs win 5-3, and thus further cement their bid for a National seed.