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Fort Worth Regional Preview: DBU

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The Patriots had to secure the auto-bid to make the postseason, but they will be dangerous now that they are there.

Michael Clements/www.gofrogs.com

Dallas Baptist is a program that Frog fans are very familiar with, having played a weeknight home and home for several seasons as well as facing off in the Fort Worth Regional and knocking out TCU on their way to winning the whole thing. The Patriots draw an angry Cavaliers team in game one this weekend, and if things break chalk, the Frogs won’t have to face the hard hitting Pats. And that could be a good thing, as this offensive juggernaut won’t be any fun for opponents to see.

Offense:

EIGHTY. FOUR.

8. 4.

16 SHY OF 100.

That’s how many home runs DBU has hit this season, good for the fifth highest mark in the country this season. Three Patriots have hit double digit dingers, led by Austin Listi’s 20, and seven players have at least five.

The Pats hit .304 as a team, slug a ridiculous .513, and score 7.5 runs per game. Six regulars hit over .300, eight have at least 20 RBI, and nine players have scored at least 18 runs. It’s a loaded lineup that’s deep and variable; there just isn’t a lot they don’t do and do well. the strikeout numbers are a bit high (434 if 59 games, or nearly 7.5 per), but they balance that nicely with 262 walks, which is a decent ratio for a power hitting team. Additionally, they have 42 steals in 55 attempts, led by Jameson Hannah’s nine - which means they don’t run a whole lot.

There aren’t a lot of easy outs in the DBU lineup, and they are going to force their first couple of opponents to stretch their pitching depth early and often in Fort Worth.

Defense:

Their .984 fielding percentage is really solid, and only 12 errors on the season is equally impressive, especially when you factor in that no player has more than three. The Pats have turned 34 double plays and thrown out 27 potential base stealers in 68 tries. Pretty, pretty good defensive numbers for DBU.

Starting Pitching:

The Pats have four pitchers that have started double-digit games, led by 9-3 Jordan Martinson. Martinson has a 4.48 ERA, has allowed nearly a hit per inning (71 - 76.1), leads the team in strikeouts with 71, and has surrendered only 32 walks. MD Johnson has the lowest ERA of any of the starters at 4.31; he’s struck out 50, walked 27, and allowed 50 hits in 50.2 innings. The other two likely candidates to take the bump for first pitch at Ray Gaither (5-4, 5.37 ERA, 62 Ks in 68.2 innings) and Trevor Conn (2-3, 5.67, 24 Ks in 39.2 innings). Needless to say, the matchup with Virginia is likely to be a high-scoring affair.

Bullpen:

The Pats have a pretty solid and deep bullpen, and they have had to use it often. Six players have made at least 17 appearances, let by Travis Stone’s 28, and he has posted a 3.20 ERA across 50.2 innings in those frames. Jimmy Fouse has been the most effective reliever - a 3.20 ERA in 40.0 innings with 38 Ks. Closer Seth Elledge has an impressive 12 saves, and is striking out well more than one per inning. He’s pretty effective at slamming the door.

Prediction:

DBU can hit with anyone is this tournament, but the pitching could be their undoing, especially in the first round matchup with a UVA team that can match them bat for bat as well as throw out a few more effective arms. The Cavs will likely have to beat the Patriots twice, and unfortunately for DBU, that’s what I see happening.