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Monday Morning Manager: Break Out The Brooms

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TCU baseball swept Cal to stay perfect at home this season.

TCU Baseball at UTA (April 18, 2018).
TCU Baseball at UTA (April 18, 2018).
Melissa Triebwasser

The Frogs hosted Cal this weekend, a team projected to finish middle of the pack in the Pac 12, and swept them back to Berkley with relative ease. TCU improved to 10-1 on the season and a perfect 8-0 at Lupton, where The Magic made an appearance on Friday night.

The Frogs are now on a five game winning streak as they prepare for a big weekend ahead in California. But before we focus on the trip to Dogertown, let’s focus up on what just happened in Frogball, USA.

Starting Dominance

TCU’s weekend rotation is shaping up to be an absolute force, with Johnny Ray, Charles King, and Russell Smith all flexing their abilities this weekend.

Ray’s outing was the weakest of the three, and his five inning, six strikeout, three earned run line is still a quality line. Plus, when you consider that Ray is coming off of a complete game performance, his WHIP is 0.82, and his opponents batting average over three starts is now .117, he’s had as great a start to the season as any TCU pitcher in recent history.

Of course, Charles King and Russell Smith both pitched incredible performances, combining for 13.1 innings without an earned run and more strikeouts (11) than hits allowed (9). Cal’s bats were largely overwhelmed over the course of the weekend. King’s bounce back on Saturday was a welcome sight after he struggled against Minnesota, and Smith carried a perfect game into the fifth inning on Sunday.

The ‘Pen Is Mightier

TCU’s bullpen has allowed seven earned runs in 41.1 innings of work this season, for a cumulative ERA of 1.52. Considering that four of those runs came in one inning of work, it’s safe to say that TCU’s bullpen has been absolutely dominant this season.

Against Cal, the ‘pen didn’t give up a single run, and pitched very efficiently. Haylen Green, Harrison Beethe, Marcelo Perez, Drew Hill, and Austin Krob are becoming a very formidable squad - all seem capable of getting a save when needed, and all are flexible enough to enter the game in multiple situations and find success.

Bats with Balance

Six different Horned Frogs had at least one multi-hit game over the weekend, with Gene Wood, Hunter Wolfe (2), Tommy Sacco, Conner Shepherd, Gray Rogers, and Zach Humphreys all making big contributions over the course of the weekend.

Not to mention standout moments like Porter Brown’s 14-pitch at bat, Shepherd’s game-winning dinger, and Philip Sikes’ pop up, two RBI single on Sunday afternoon.

Austin Henry had a hitless weekend, but the senior still had a fantastic defensive weekend. The shift from second base to first has seemed natural for Henry, as the Frogs’ have improved defensively in the infield early on in 2020.

What’s Next?

TCU hosts UT Arlington on Tuesday afternoon at 4pm before heading to California for a tournament against USC, UCLA, and Vanderbilt. It will be the first legitimate test to see where TCU stands against top teams in the country.