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Early tests, tough home slate define TCU baseball’s 2018 schedule

The Frogs don’t have it easy early, or at home in 2018.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida vs TCU Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

TCU baseball released its schedule early Monday morning, about four months in advance of the season getting underway, and there are some interesting games to note. Overall, it appears as though the schedule plays out quite nicely for a team that is looking to replace quite a few key players in 2018.

TCU’s non-conference schedule has a “California” theme

First, TCU’s non-conference schedule, while maybe not up to the competitive level of past seasons, still has a good slate of games, and has a definite California theme to it.

The Frogs open the season with a trip to Phoenix for three games against Grand Canyon University. The Antelopes play in the WAC, and are in the middle of a transition from D2 to D1.

Littered throughout the season schedule are the typical games against UT Arlington (Feb. 20, Feb. 27, April 10), Dallas Baptist (March 27, April 3), Stephen F. Austin (April 24, May 15), and Abilene Christian (April 17, May 1), and the Frogs will also host Lamar in a late-season, three-game series at Lupton May 4-6.

Arguably the biggest series of the non-conference schedule comes on the second weekend of the season (February 23-25) when the Frogs will play host to Long Beach State. The Dirtbags finished the 2017 season ranked 9th in the nation, losing to Cal State Fullerton in three games in the Super Regional round.

TCU hosts UC Irvine the following weekend, followed by a game against UT Rio Grande Valley, before hopping on a plane to LAX to face USC, UCLA, and Vanderbilt in consecutive days in the Dodgertown Classic (March 9-11).

TCU closes out their opening non-conference slate with three games against Minnesota at Lupton Stadium, followed by a Tuesday game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

TCU’s home slate gives them a leg up in conference play

When it comes to the Big 12 schedule, TCU has an advantage. Of the top four teams from a season ago (excluding TCU - Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor), the Frogs host OU (April 6-8), Tech (April 27-29), and WVU (May 11-13) at Lupton Stadium. Their home slate is rounded out with a series against Kansas State.

Being able to host three of the better teams in the conference gives TCU an incredible advantage, as the Frogs were 28-4 at Lupton a season ago, and are 81-15 at home over the past three seasons.

There’s no doubt that Frog fans and the TCU home environment gives the Frogs a leg up on the competition.

Key road series could decide the conference champs

The two biggest road series come in March and May, when TCU travels to Stillwater for three games against Oklahoma State (March 29-31), and to Austin to face Texas (May 17-19). The series against Texas is TCU’s final series before heading to the Big 12 Tournament, and the Longhorns improve in conference from a season ago, that could be a matchup of two 40-win teams.

The Frogs were just 13-10 in true road games a season ago, dropping two of three games to all of the following: UC Irvine, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. For a team that’s replacing quite a few pieces, they’ll need to grow up on the road quickly in 2018.

You can view TCU’s full 2018 schedule (and print it off) right here.