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TCU Baseball at Dallas Baptist: Preview

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A four game road trip ends with a tough matchup against the always tricky Patriots.

TCU Baseball vs Kansas State (March 23, 2018)
TCU Baseball vs Kansas State (March 23, 2018)
Melissa Triebwasser

TCU Horned Frogs (14-10) vs Dallas Baptist Patriots (16-9) | Tuesday, April 3, 2018 | LHP Russell Smith (1-2, 4.91 ERA, 9 Ks) vs. RHP Sean Boyle (0-1, 1.98 ERA, 22 Ks) | 6:30PM | Horner Park | Dallas, TX | Watch Live | Listen: 88.7 KTCU


TCU desperately needs a win. This is not news. After being swept at Oklahoma State last weekend, the Frogs have fallen to 3-3 in conference play, and more importantly, seem to have lost their mojo. The offense left runners stranded at a horrifying pace, the pitching was inconsistent, and things just never looked quite right. Jim Schlossnagle gave us a very Gary Patterson-like expectation in the preseason, telling whoever would listen time and time again that his young team was going to need some time and some seasoning. Maybe now, people are starting to believe it.

Tonight, the Frogs face a difficult test in a DBU team that has been really solid to open the season; the Patriots are 16-9, 13-4 at home, and have wins against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and a series victory over the #22 Sam Houston Bearcats. They are the real deal.

The potent Patriot offense sports a team .290 average, and have mashed 35 home runs, a top 15 mark nationally. Devlin Granberg (.423) and Jameson Hannah (.404) lead the charge, and in addition to their impressive batting averages, the duo has combined for 10 home runs, 21 doubles, and 56 RBI. TCU starter Russell Smith will have his hands full tonight as he works through a dangerous and versatile lineup. DBU strikes out at an average rate (7.5 per game) but draws walks at a similar pace to the Frogs, and though they don’t steal a ton, they are incredibly effective when they do so - successful on 22 of their 25 attempts.

This is a hugely important game for the Frogs, who need some positive momentum heading into a Big 12 series against Oklahoma and a signature win in a season that has had few such things. They could benefit from a strong out from Smith, who has been what you expect for a talented freshman - flashes of greatness mixed with inconsistency - to help get a pitching staff that has so much potential back to locked in before the weekend. DBU isn’t the ideal opponent to try and get off the schneid with, but they are a good challenge for a team that needs to rise to one.

TCU NOTABLES

• For just the second time since joining the Big 12, TCU was swept in a series. Both series sweeps have come in the state of Oklahoma.

• For the seventh time this season, the Frogs had to shuffle their schedule due to weather.

• TCU fell to 3-4 in games decided by one run this year.

• TCU ranks fifth in the Big 12 in batting average (.266), third in ERA (3.52) and third in fielding percentage (.974).

Johnny Rizer joined the home run hitter’s club with his first of the year on Saturday. Seven Frogs have hit a home run this season.

• TCU was a perfect 12-for-12 in stolen bases over the weekend. The 33 stolen bases rank 4th in the Big 12.

• The TCU pitching staff has registered double-digit strikeouts in eight of the last 10 games and has 14 such contests this year.

Conner Shepherd (.462), A.J. Balta (.455) and Michael Landestoy (.400) led the Frogs over the weekend.

A.J. Balta added four stolen bases over the weekend and is the first Frog to 10 on the season.

DALLAS BAPTIST NOTABLES

• Dallas Baptist is coming off a 3-0 weekend that included a win over Southern and two against Xavier.

• The Patriots are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

• Dallas Baptist is 2-2 in midweek games this season, all of which have come against Big 12 foes.

• Dallas Baptist is hitting .290 as a team, pitching to the tune of a 4.32 ERA and fielding at a .977 clip.

• The Patriots have scored 10 or more runs 11 times this season.

• Devlin Granberg (.423) and Jameson Hannah (.404) are the offensive leaders for DBU.

• The Patriots have hit 35 home runs this season, a mark that ranks 13th nationally. Additionally, the 65 doubles ranks 11th nationally.

• Granberg’s 38 RBIs rank fifth nationally.• The Patriots have been successful in 22 of 25 stolen bases, led by Granberg’s nine.

• Jarod Bayless is the go-to guy in the bullpen with a team-high 12 appearances, while Parker Towns leads the team with two saves.

SERIES NOTABLES

• TCU and Dallas Baptist are meeting for the 72nd time in program history.• The Frogs hold a 46-25 lead in the all-time series.

• 2018 marks the 15th straight season that the two programs have met on the diamond. TCU is 18-12 in that stretch.

• TCU went 3-0 against the Patriots last season, winning both regular season contests and topping them in the NCAA Regional Championship game.

• TCU is 6-3 at Dallas Baptist under the guidance of Jim Schlossnagle.

ROAD NOTABLES

• TCU will play 22 games on the road this season.

• The Frogs opened the season on the road and owns a 3-5 mark away from home in 2018.

• Under the guidance of Jim Schlossnagle, TCU is 203-129 in games played on the opposition’s home field.

• TCU is 36-29 in midweek road games under the guidance of Schlossnagle.

• TCU is 59-36 on the road since the start of the 2014 season.