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TCU Baseball 2016: Abilene Christian Preview

Coming off a sweep of West Virginia, Dalton Horton and the TCU offense hope to make things easy on themselves Tuesday night before they travel to Austin...

Last Tuesday, TCU needed a big comeback and a brilliant performance from Brian Trieglaff to edge Rice in Houston. Hopefully their contest tonight against Abilene Christian won't channel similar drama. And by all means it shouldn't: ACU is coming off a tough Sunday loss, whereas the Frogs' bats have been some of the hottest in the Nation. Still, the TCU has a flare for drama, sometimes regardless of opponent.

Tuesday Night Matchup

Dalton Horton vs. Nate Cole:

Dalton Horton looks to rebound from an uncharacteristic outing against Rice in which he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in just over 4 innings of work. Aside from that, the big lefty from Center, Texas has been absolute dynamite. Once Mitchell Traver comes back–which is looking at more like a month from now–Kirk Saarloos and Jim Schlossnagle are going to be forced to make some difficult strategic decisions in regards to shuffling their pitching deck.

For ACU, RHP Nate Cole, who's sitting at 1-2 and has an ERA over 5.00 could have a long night ahead of him.


Record

ERA

K/9

BB/9

Dalton Horton

2-0

1.72

3.45

2.87

Nate Cole

1-2

5.06

7.31

5.63

Stay Hungry

Thinking along the same lines of Horton's role in the future, the same line of thinking can be applied to Austen Wade and Michael Landestoy. It's pretty common knowledge that Schlossnagle will have a really difficult decision to make when Connor Wanhanen and Nolan Brown return from nursing their respective injuries. Wade has started in 11 straight games, in which he's batting .389–and he, along with Luken Baker, lead the team in OBP (.500).

Landestoy is batting .400 in the last 7 games, in which he's started at 5 of, and has been an absolute rock at first base. Most notably with Landestoy, at least for me, is his patience at the plate. He was used in garbage time last year, and even then, he couldn't afford a hit. Whatever he did in the offseason–good on him, because it's working very well.

Same as it ever was

Talking about Luken Baker and Elliott Barzilli is pretty much standard at this point. Baker's 7 RBIs over the weekend–4 of which he got off a grand slam, which notably was TCU's first piece of salami since some clown named Jantzen Witte did it in 2013–launched him to the top of the leaderboard in the Big 12 with 24.

The man with 23? That would be Barzilli. I don't know if there's a competition going with Barz and Baker–and even Watson and Warner–but it seems like when one hits a homerun, the other answers shortly after. Barz's .438 BA currently has him second in the Big 12 behind Tech's Tanner Gardner. He does however lead the conference in Slugging (.753), Hits (32), and Total Bases (55).

Score Prediction: TCU 7, ACU 1

I'm feeling a nice little gem from Dalton tonight in what should be a nice tune-up game before they go to Austin and face an either pissed off or uninspired–I haven't decided yet–Texas team.

After all, and get ready to knock on wood, TCU's never lost to ACU in 19 meetings.