In their first Big 12 weekend series of the year, No. 21 TCU Baseball will head to Waco to take on Baylor.
The Frogs sit at 12-4 and are currently on a four-game win streak, while the Bears are 9-7 and are coming off a loss against Sam Houston State University. Although they lost their first three games of the year, the Bears have bounced back strong with 9 wins in their last 13 games.
Baylor has faced some tough competition this year and has managed to win a handful of challenging games. They have three wins over Duke and UCLA, who were both ranked 23rd at the time. Most impressively, they also have a win against LSU, who was ranked 7th at the time.
Although it is important to consider the tough schedule Baylor has had thus far, their offense, which is averaging just over five runs per game, doesn’t seem to be a massive threat. The Bears have one player that bats over .300: shortstop Jack Pineda.
The Frogs, on the other hand, have four players that bat over .350: center fielder Elijah Nunez, third baseman Brayden Taylor, shortstop Tommy Sacco, and first baseman David Bishop. They are averaging close to eight runs per game.
Bishop leads the team with 21 RBIs and is tied for the home run lead alongside Taylor with two. On Tuesday against Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, Bishop and Taylor drove in eight runs, hitting back-to-back home runs in the process.
The Frog offense, likely on Friday, will be challenged by starting pitcher Tyler Thomas, who ranks 31st nationally with an ERA of .94 in 28 innings pitched. In his last outing against Columbia, Thomas threw eight scoreless innings, only giving up three hits.
The Frogs may need some Lupton Magic, which they haven’t been short of recently, while in Waco. Right fielder Luke Boyers hit a walk-off home run and Nunez had a walk-off walk all in a day’s span during the Army series.
TCU’s starting pitching has struggled as of late, with Austin Krob being the exception. Riley Cornelio, in his last outing against Army, gave up two earned runs but made two throwing errors that resulted in two more scoring. Brett Walker had his worst outing of the year, giving up five runs and eight hits in four innings pitched.
Last series, Cornelio started the Friday matchup. It is highly probable that he starts this Friday as well, but not a guarantee.
The bullpen, after a poor start to the season, has settled in nicely. Throughout the entire Army series, the bullpen gave up zero earned runs.
Closing pitcher River Ridings leads the team with a 1.23 ERA with relief pitchers Cohen Feser and Marcelo Perez in second and third.
Last season Baylor finished sixth in the Big 12 standings with a record of 11-13. They were swept by TCU, who only gave up four runs in the series. The Bears seem to have improved, however, and the Frogs should not underestimate them.
The first pitch in Waco will be Friday at 6:30 p.m. All three games will be televised on ESPN+.