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No. 19 TCU Baseball vs Kansas State: Weekend series preview

Meet the Wildcats!

TCU starting pitcher Riley Cornelio throws eight scoreless innings against the Baylor Bears on March 18, 2022.

No. 19 TCU Baseball, in their first Big 12 weekend series at Lupton, will take on Kansas State this weekend. The Frogs have never lost a game to Kansas State at Lupton in program history.

TCU (15-5) demolished Abilene Christian 14-3 on Tuesday after taking two of three in Waco against Baylor last weekend.

The Frogs faced the Wildcats six times last season, splitting the season series 3-3. The Last time the two squads faced off was during the Big 12 tournament, where TCU won 17-7, ending Kansas State’s season.

So far this year, the Frogs are undefeated at Lupton stadium (6-0) and have won eight of their last ten. Kansas State was on an eight-game win streak but lost 3-4 to Air Force on Wednesday.

With Austin Krob out with shoulder stiffness, the starting pitchers this weekend for the Frogs will be Riley Cornelio, Cam Brown, and Brett Walker.

Once again, Cornelio will start the first game for TCU; he was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after striking out seven, walking one, and allowing two hits through eight scoreless innings on Friday against Baylor.

Cornelio is likely to face Blake Adams, who started on the mound for K State in their last Friday matchup, throwing 6.1 innings, striking out seven, and allowing one earned run. Blake has a 2.53 ERA and has proven to be durable, leading his team with 32 innings pitched so far this season. He also leads the Wildcats with 41 strikeouts.

Brown, who has a 4.29 ERA, made his first weekend series start of the year on Sunday, giving up four runs. He’ll have an opportunity to bounce back this Saturday. He is likely to face Connor McCullogh. McCullogh gave up one run in seven innings his last start and has a 2.73 ERA this season.

Walker, who has not lost a game this season, is set to start the series finale. In his last few outings, Walker has struggled to keep players off the bases. In his last two starts, Walker has given up nine runs in 6.2 innings pitched. The starting pitcher for the Wildcats on Sunday has yet to be announced.

The K State offense ranks second in the Big 12 with a .302 batting average; left fielder Dominic Johnson leads the Big 12 with an impressive .457 average. The Wildcats have a well-balanced lineup with four players batting above .300.

The TCU offense ranks fifth in the Big 12 with a .284 average. The Frogs may have a worse average and hit fewer homers, but they have driven in 18 more runs. First baseman David Bishop, who ranks second in the Big 12 with 30 RBIs, has been a huge factor in this department.

Unlike Baylor, Kansas State has yet to beat a ranked team. Their only opportunity to do so was their first game of the season, where they lost 6-8 to No. 10 Arizona. The Wildcats have had a solid start to the season, but they have yet to be tested by a team with a great reputation such as the Horned Frogs.

With the home-field advantage at Lupton, expect TCU to be fired up and ready to go to battle. Given that the Army series was over spring break, this weekend will be the first opportunity for all TCU students to experience Frogball, USA.

All three games will be televised on ESPN+. The first pitch of the series will be Friday at 6 p.m.