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No. 16 TCU Baseball vs Kentucky: Weekend Series Preview

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TCU looks to extend their win streak to seven games.

Brayden Taylor, Tommy Sacco, Gray Rodgers, and David Bishop huddle together during the Globe Life Field weekend series vs Nebraska (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
gofrogs.com

Looking to extend their six-game win streak, No. 16 TCU Baseball will head to Lexington to take on the University of Kentucky in a three-game series.

The Wildcats have had an impressive start to the season, winning eight of nine and sweeping Jacksonville State University and Western Michigan University.

Kentucky’s offense, which averages 9.7 runs per game, has carried them to success. They have four players batting higher than .400 to start the season: third baseman Chase Estep, first baseman Jacob Plastiak, second baseman Daniel Harris, and designated hitter Oraj Anu. Estep and Plastiak have each tallied three home runs as well.

The Kentucky pitching staff has a mediocre 3.9 ERA and has held opponents to a .255 batting average.

Although the Wildcats have had success, they have not faced a true threat to their offense. The Frog starters, who have held their opponents to a combined .198 batting average, have not taken a loss this season.

Starting pitcher Austin Krob, who has yet to give up a run this season, is starting the weekend series on the mound this Friday. Through ten innings, he has given up six hits and tallied 13 strikeouts.

Starting pitcher Riley Cornelio, who leads all starters in opponent batting average (.154), is starting on Saturday. Cornelio’s last outing was dominant with the exception of one bad pitch that led to a two-run home run. He gave up three hits and fanned seven through six innings.

Starting pitcher Brett Walker, who leads the team with thirteen innings pitched, has a .132 ERA. Although he strikes out fewer batters and gives up more hits than the other starters, he has been excellent at keeping runners from scoring. Walker will start the final game on Sunday.

The TCU bullpen has been the weakest part of the team thus far, but closing pitcher River Ridings has been solid. In four innings pitched, he has seven strikeouts and has yet to give up an earned run.

The Frog offense has been powered by excellent starts from shortstop Tommy Sacco, third baseman Brayden Taylor, center fielder Elijah Nunez, and first baseman David Bishop.

Sacco, who leads the team in batting average (.464) and slugging percentage (.679), is on pace to make a significant jump from last season.

Taylor, who has reached base in 17 straight games including last season, is right behind Sacco in batting average and slugging percentage. He has had terrific patience at the plate, leading him to a team-high .595 on-base percentage and 10 walks.

Nunez has been great in the leadoff spot for the Frogs, using his speed to create scoring opportunities. He has seven stolen bases this season and has yet to be caught stealing.

Bishop, a freshman, has been an RBI machine for the Frogs, driving in a team-high 13. Bishop has been tough to strike out, only doing so four times on the year.

Kentucky has held their opponents to 4.9 runs per game. Keeping TCU under this number will be a challenge, as the Frogs have only scored less than five runs one time this season (Feb. 25th vs Nebraska).

The Frogs, who have not played in Kentucky since 2004, will look to stay hot this weekend. In 2020, the last time the Frogs faced the Wildcats, the Frogs won all three games by five or more runs at Lupton.

The first pitch of the Kentucky series will be Friday at 3 p.m. The games will be televised on SEC Network+.