The tale of the tape shows that these two teams are near mirror images of each other. The Frogs are going to have their work cut out for them, but will be playing in their home park, while the Bears have to be road warriors once again.
These teams are similar in several categories, particularly plate discipline. MSU has drawn 346 walks, the fourth most in the nation, but only five more than TCU. The Bears have scored 430 runs to 423 for the Horned Frogs. MSU’s .278 team batting average is just 6 points higher than its upcoming opponents’. TCU averages 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings, good for 14th in the nation, while the 9.0 averaged by the Bears clocked in at 22nd.
When it comes to fielding percentage, they are one one-thousandth of a point apart.
“They are similar to us in the sense of grinding out at-bats and the fact that they’re never out of it. It should be a good matchup,” Burger said.
The glaring advantages come from home runs, where the Bears clobbered 78 to TCU’s 54, and stolen bases, where TCU is one of 15 teams in the country to swipe 100 bags. MSU stole 55 this season.
Both teams are led by a pair of sluggers in the middle of the order, though the Frogs’ are without their biggest path. They are similar when it comes to the major offensive categories - though the Bears blast more home runs and the Frogs steal more bases. The starting pitching is close as well, but the bullpen depth favors the Frogs.
Burger played on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team with TCU catcher Evan Skoug last summer and was one of two players to start all 19 games for Team USA on an international tour.
“When we saw them, they were playing outstanding baseball,” Heefner said of Missouri State, which swept Dallas Baptist in Springfield in April. “They have three quality starters. They played solid defense. It should be a good Super Regional.
“Obviously, TCU’s got a great team — really, really good pitching. They started swinging the bats really well this week. So I think it’ll be a fun one.”
TCU’s pitching is going to be stellar once again this weekend if the Frogs want to earn a fourth straight trip to Omaha. But, the advantage they have is the bullpen is very fresh as well.
The performances by the three starters and four relievers gave Schlossnagle so much leeway, six bullpen arms went unused, not to mention Lodolo.
Only Cal State Fullerton, Davidson, Texas A&M and Wake Forest used fewer pitchers in their regional championships. Fullerton and A&M each used a reliever three times, and Davidson turned to its Game 1 starter to save Game 3.
The Schobel boys were my favorite players in my early days as a TCU fan. They were a ton of fun to watch... and it seemed that there was always one on the team.
The Schobel Cousins. Aaron & Bo. And yes, we know we're cheating.
Aaron is TCU's all-time leader in sacks with 31, but Bo holds the single season sacks record with 17. Bo also strung together 10 sacks in his freshman season, good enough for fourth all-time.
Aaron is TCU's leader in yards lost by tackle (315). He won WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and went on to start 116 straight games for the Buffalo Bills. Bo won a Super Bowl with Indianapolis in 2006.
Josh Boyce was oh so fun to watch. Him and Kerley were video game players out there for TCU as it made its resurgence.
This guy was ridiculous. And like Cory Rodgers, he did it all in three seasons.
Josh Boyce was only recently dethroned from the top of TCU's all-time touchdown receptions list. Twenty two TDs and 2,535 yards. Oh my.
A Rose Bowl, multiple conference championships -- this guy was special, and he played at a special time.
Then he went on to win a Super Bowl with the Patriots, though he wasn't on the active roster. I hear winning championships in New England is really "in" these days.