TCU Horned Frogs (14-11) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (21-10)
Friday: LHP Nick Lodolo (4-1, 4.41 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Irvin (5-0, 2.27 ERA) | 6:30PM | Lupton Stadium | Listen: 88.7 KTCU
Saturday: RHP Sean Wymer (1-1, 4.60 ERA) vs. RHP Devon Perez (3-0, 2.27 ERA) | 7:00PM | Lupton Stadium | Watch: ESPNU | Listen: 88.7 KTCU
Sunday: RHP Jared Janczak (1-1, 3.07 ERA) vs. RHP Nathan Wiles (2-1, 3.90 ERA) | 3:00PM | Lupton Stadium | Watch: Fox Sports Southwest | Listen: 88.7 KTCU
TCU has reached the midpoint of their season, and to this point it has been disappointing. Sitting at 14-11 and fifth in the Big 12 is not where many people pictured the Horned Frogs to be on April 6th, and fewer still probably thought TCU would not be in the field of 64, should the tournament start today.
Currently on a four game losing streak, their longest such streak since 2013, the Frogs need to turn things around quickly if they want a shot at reaching Omaha for the fifth consecutive year (a feat that, if achieved at this point, would be close to miraculous).
In situations like this, though, teams have to take things one game at a time. So, let’s take a look at TCU’s opponent this weekend, No. 19 Oklahoma.
The Sooners Thus Far
Oklahoma sits at 21-10 on the season, and 6-0 in conference play. They’ve won seven of their last eight games, including sweeps over West Virginia and Baylor the past two weekends. Now, you may look at their schedule and say, “but Jamie, they lost a midweek game to Oklahoma State, how are they undefeated in the Big 12?”
Well, the Sooners and Cowboys played a non-conference midweek game which is weird but let’s just move on.
Oklahoma’s schedule has been pretty friendly to this point in the season. They got WVU and Baylor at home, and haven’t played a weekend series away from Norman since they played in the Baseball at the Beach tournament to open the season.
The Sooners have only played seven road/neutral site games thus far, and they’re just 2-5 in those games. On the flip side of things, TCU is 11-4 at home, despite their inconsistencies this season.
A duo of arms have been close to dominant
The front of Oklahoma’s rotation is stout, with Jake Irvin and Devon Perez both posting 2.27 ERA’s in seven starts this season, and neither has suffered a loss to this point.
Irvin leads the team with 50 strikeouts through 43.2 innings pitched, and he boasts an opponent batting average of .165. Irvin was just named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for his eight shutout innings against Baylor last weekend.
Perez isn’t too far behind him, either, with a .235 batting average against, but he’s much less of a strikeout guy, with only 24 in his 35.2 innings pitched.
The Sooner’s bullpen is incredibly strong as well. As a unit they have an 11.18 K/9, and juniors Austin Hansen and Connor Berry have been dominant. Berry has five of Oklahoma’s nine saves on the season, and Hansen boasts a 0.93 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched.
Their bats are absolutely insane
While Oklahoma’s pitching is good, their hitting is close to insane. Five starters have batting averages over .300, while two more are above .290, including center-fielder Kyler Murray.
Yup, you read that right. Oklahoma’s starting center fielder is also their starting quarterback. Murray’s slash line is batting .293 and slugging .489 on the season, with three home runs, 21 RBI, and 22 runs scored. He’s also tied for the team lead with five stolen bases.
But he’s surrounded by talent. Brady Linsdly leads the Sooners with a .354 batting average and a .500 slugging percentage, ten doubles, and more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) this season. Cade Harris has 13 doubles and 33 runs scored to lead Oklahoma, and touts a .308 batting average and five stolen bases.
Collectively, Oklahoma is scoring six runs per game this season, while allowing opponents to score 4.4 per game.
This is going to be a tough series for TCU, but the talent is there for the Frogs to make some noise. If they do, it could absolutely jump start TCU’s season.