The new-look Horned Frogs have impressed in their first four games, sweeping Kentucky to open the year and absolutely clobbering a good ACU team Tuesday night in a game that included four home runs by the home team. Jim Schlossnagle promised us a team that would pitch well and play good defense — his guys have certainly delivered on that promise so far — but the pleasant surprise has come with power. Not expected to be a big stick team, the Frogs have launched seven balls into the seats already, second-most in the league. Four doubles and two triples compliment a .275 team batting average, with Gray Rodgers racking up eight hits in 14 at bats while outfielders Gene Wood and Philip Sikes have added six each.
Now they’ll face a Minnesota team that is off two a 2-2 start, beating a pair of solid Pac-12 programs in Oregon and Arizona while games to Pepperdine and San Diego. The games will be played at US Bank Stadium — the home of the Vikings, not the Twins — making for a very unique challenge for the road team. Just look at this setup:
TCU hopes to be 7-0 by the end of their first road trip, but the wins won’t come easy. Minnesota pitcher Max Meyer is a star, having gone 5-3, 2.11 last season and being named a preseason All-American in 2020. Meyer surrendered just two hits, three walks and struck out seven batters against the Ducks in the season opener. Meyer and Johnny Ray Saturday night will be must-see TV for college baseball fans for sure.
Let’s take a look at TCU’s series with the Golden Gophers:
GAME DAY INFORMATION Location:
Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM
Live Stats: GopherSports.com
Live Video: BTN+ ($)
Saturday, Feb. 22
First Pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium
Minnesota Starter: RHP Max Meyer (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
TCU Starter: RHP Johnny Ray (0-0, 1.93 ERA)
Sunday, Feb. 23
First Pitch: 2:00 p.m. CST
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium
Minnesota Starter: RHP Sam Thoresen (0-1, 15.43 ERA)
TCU Starter: RHP Charles King (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Monday, Feb. 24
First Pitch: 12:15 p.m. CTLocation: U.S. Bank Stadium
Minnesota Starter: RHP Patrick Fredrickson (0-1, 16.20 ERA)
TCU Starter: LHP Russell Smith 0-0 (1.93 ERA)
• TCU is off to a 4-0 start to the season for the first time since the 2017 campaign.
• It’s the third time (2010, ‘15, ‘17) under the guidance of head coach Jim Schlossnagle that TCU has opened the year 4-0.
• Sixteen Horned Frogs have made their TCU debuts in the opening four games.
• TCU ranks second in the Big 12 with a 2.00 ERA after the first weekend of action.
• TCU is averaging 9.0 runs per game and hitting .275 with a .522 slugging percentage in the early going.
• TCU ranks third in the Big 12 with 10 stolen bases. •
TCU’s seven home runs this season rank fifth nationally.
• The weekend rotation of Johnny Ray, Charles King and Russell Smith allowed just two earned runs.
• Gray Rodgers paces the team with a .571 average, ranking in a tie for third in the Big 12.
• Gene Wood has hit three home runs in the last two games, while Rodgers has also homered in back-to-back games.
• Hunter Wolfe sits second in the Big 12 with four stolen bases.
• TCU will play 24 road games during the 2020 season.
• TCU went 9-12 on the road in 2019. • TCU is 70-60 in road regular season non-conference games since 2004.
• TCU is 217-148 on the road under the guidance of Jim Schlossnagle.
• TCU has won 59 of 89 (66%) of road series since Schlossnagle took over in 2004.
• Minnesota went 2-2 in the opening weekend of action, defeating Oregon and Arizona, while dropping contests to Pepperdine and San Diego.
• The Golden Gophers are hitting .296 as a team, fielding at a .957 clip and own a 6.62 ERA.
• Minnesota has surrendered 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
• The Golden Gophers are averaging 5.5 walks per game.
• Andrew Wilhite leads the team with a .444 average. while Zack Raabe and Jack Kelly pace the team with six hits each.
• Jack Wassel paces the squad with four RBIs.
• Junior utility player Max Meyer owns a 1.80 ERA after his first start of the year. He also ranks second on the team with a .364 average.
• J.P. Massey leads the pitching staff with six innings pitched.
• Ryan Duffy, Josh Culliver and Drake Davis have each made two appearances out of the bullpen.
• Saturday’s meeting will mark the 10th in the all-time series.
• TCU leads the all-time series 5-4.
• The Frogs and the Gophers last met in a three game series at Lupton Stadium in 2018.
• Minnesota took a 2-1 series victory
• TCU and Minnesota played a three-game series in 2009 with the Golden Gophers taking a 2-1 series win at Lupton Stadium.
• TCU and Minnesota also met in the Dairy Queen Classic in 2008 with the Frogs coming out victorious by a 7-4 score.