After a weekend where just about everything went right for the Frogs, they will hit the road for the short trip down I-30 to take on the UT Arlington Mavericks on Tuesday night. For a team with deep postseason aspirations, winning these Tuesday night contests is crucial to reaching the 40 win threshold and being considered for a national seed. To continue to be viewed as the No. 1 team, you also have to win on the road. TCU has a chance to do both on Tuesday night.
UTA is a program that TCU knows well. Its great when you have solid programs within an hour of your campus that you can match up with in these mid-week games. It makes travel easier for both team and the Frogs have taken advantage of that by playing a home and home Tuesday series with UTA most years in recent memory.
The Mavs finished just over .500 last year in the Sunbelt conference, but managed wins over Big 12 opponents Oklahoma State, Baylor and even TCU. They are 2-2 so far in 2017 with a couple of one-run losses to start the year followed by back-to-back wins over the same teams, Southeastern Missouri and Stephen F. Austin. Through four games UTA has managed a team ERA of 3.03 and they have four players currently hitting at or over .400: Josh Minjarez (.429), Omar Salinas (.417) and Easton Johnson (.400).
The Frogs on the other hand also have four players currently hitting at or over .400: Nolan Brown (.556), Cam Warner (.429) and Mason Hesse (.400). Luken Baker sits just outside the .400 mark with an average of .375. Baker, Elliott Barzilli and Cam Warner all hit home runs over the opening weekend, and TCU’s pitching staff went 3-0 on the way to setting a 2.00 team ERA.
RS-Jr., LHP Adam Meyer (UTA) vs. RS-Sr., RHP Mitchell Traver (TCU)
Adam Meyer is a 6’,2”, 210 lb lefty making his fourth career start on Tuesday night. He was instrumental in relief as part of wins over Oklahoma State and Baylor last year, and did not allow a hit over 3 innings of work in those games. In 17 1⁄3 innings last year he posted a 1-1 record with a save, 14 Ks, 7 BBs and an 8.31 ERA.
Mitchell Traver’s season last year was limited by injury, but he was honored as a preseason All-American before the start of the 2016 season. That All-American mention was following a 2015 season when he went 9-2 with a 1.89 ERA, 77 Ks and 26 BBs in 76 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Sadly, he was injured the weekend before the 2016 season started and he was never able to match his sophomore performance, despite a very strong showing in his last start against Coastal Carolina in the College World Series. Having Traver tabbed as the starter in Tuesday games will be a very tall task for TCU’s mid-week opponents, and if he can stay healthy, he should help the Frogs win a lot of them.