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TCU Baseball vs Abilene Christian Preview

The Frogs take a short road trip, hoping to start the week off with a win against a familiar foe.

Ryan Merrill is hoping the Frogs can start the new week off with a win in Abilene.

The weekend at Lupton produced a winning weekend for the Frogs, but whether on the road or in Fort Worth the Frogs haven’t been hitting lately. That prevented them from getting the sweep on Sunday, when they didn’t record a hit against the Jayhawks until the eighth inning. Three quality starts from the Frogs’ starting rotation was encouraging though, and they will need more of that to stay on top while they wait for the offense to find its rhythm.

Tuesday night TCU will head out West for another road trip, but thankfully this one isn’t quite as far as California. They’ll be heading to Crutcher Scott Field to take on the Abilene Christian Wildcats. It’s always a treat for me when the Frogs play ACU because it’s the team that my dad played for his freshman year.

After just moving up to D1 a few years ago, they’ve been far from an equal to TCU in recent years, but its a fun and easy regional road trip for both teams. Last year TCU jumped out to a 6-0 first inning lead, and had to fend off a late inning comeback attempt by ACU in a game that ended in a 6-4 TCU victory. Two years ago, the last time they met in Abilene, the Frogs won the game 8-2.

ACU is 9-10 on the year, and was swept on the road by New Orleans over the weekend. A week ago they went on the road and beat UT Arlington 9-1. They’re 4-6 over their last 10 games, but a month ago they were riding a seven-game win streak.

Starting Pitchers

Dalton Horton, So. - LHP
vs Nick Skeffington, Fr - LHP

Mitchell Traver’s return to the mound will have to wait at least another week. With no new information about the timeline for his return, TCU will once again go with sophomore Dalton Horton. After a freshman year when he was 8-0 with a 2.58 ERA he has regressed a bit with an 0-1 record and an 8.00 ERA this year. He had a decent outing last week, going four innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts against Long Beach State.

Nick Skeffington is 1-1 on the year with a 9.45 ERA in two appearances with 6 23 innings pitched. He got shelled in a short outing in his first start, but last week he was part of the Wildcats’ 9-1 win over UT Arlington. In that game he went 5 23 innings and allowed just one run on six hits.

Offensive Preview

Senior outfielder Russell Crippen leads the team, hitting .392 with 12 doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs. Leading the team in runs with 19 and home runs (2) is sophomore outfielder Derek Scott. He’s hitting .351 and is a threat to run with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts. Junior Luis Trevino, the designated hitter, also has two home runs and leads the team with 23 RBIs. The Wildcats average 5.5 runs per game and are hitting an even .300 as a team.

The Frogs’ offensive production took another blow over the weekend, and they are now hitting just .252 as a team. They still average 6.8 runs per game, but that’s about two runs per game less than a couple of weeks ago. Nolan Brown has the highest average, hitting for .343 with 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts. Luke Baker’s average has fallen about 100 points over the last couple of weeks to .288, but he still leads the team by a wide margin with 23 runs scored. Josh Watson has been one of the few Frogs who is hot at the plate lately. He’s hitting .290 and just recently had a 13-game hitting streak broken in Sunday’s game against KU.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm CT. The game will not be televised, but audio will be available through KTCU on 88.7 FM and through Frog Vision.