TCU Baseball will look to get back on track this weekend in a HUGE rivalry series against the 7th ranked Texas Longhorns.
After dropping a Big 12 series for the first time all season last week, the Frogs bounced back with a solid 10-2 win over UTA, but the Longhorns are a different beast entirely.
Ever since a four-win streak back in 2017, the Frogs haven’t fared too well against the Horns. TCU is 3-7 against Texas in their last 10 meetings, but those three wins have produced some magical moments.
Sure the Longhorns are higher ranked, sure their team had a lot of national attention coming into this season, but that doesn’t mean they’re unbeatable. Texas Tech did it, South Carolina did it, hell even Texas State pulled off an upset in their three-game series.
Despite having a bit more national hype surrounding the program this year, the Longhorns have a near-identical record to the Frogs (22-9 vs 20-9).
We all know the history and bad blood between the two programs, but how exactly does this year’s roster match up against the Horns?
Considering Texas has the 9th best batting average as a team nationally (.321) and has blasted the 10th most home runs in the country this season (50), the Horned Frogs pitching staff will need to put on a show. Riley Cornelio (Friday), Marcelo Perez (Saturday), and Brett Walker (Sunday) were called upon to make starts this weekend.
Cornelio has been the hot hand for the Frogs as of late and deservedly gets the game 1 starting nod. The sophomore has a 3-1 record this season with a 3.1 ERA, giving up just 9 hits and 3 runs in his last three outings.
Marcelo Perez deservedly gets his first start of the season in one of the biggest series of the year. This is likely thanks to his monster performance last time out against West Virginia, where he posted 6.2 innings giving up just 2 hits and 1 run while also getting the Frogs out of a sticky situation in the top of the 1st. Without Perez, the Frogs wouldn’t have had a chance to come back in that ballgame, so I’m more than excited to see what he can do as a starter.
Brett Walker takes on the task of closing out the series in game 3. The California native just recently took his first loss of the season in game 3 against West Virginia and hasn’t necessarily found his rhythm quite yet. He’s posted a 4.89 ERA giving up 27 hits and 17 runs in his last four outings, so he’ll need a season-best performance this weekend if he wants to silence the Horns.
Aside from limiting the Longhorns’ offensive firepower, the Frogs will need to take advantage of EVERY opportunity presented, or simply create their own opportunities through baserunning.
TCU is one of the better baserunning teams in the country this season, stealing 46 bases on 52 attempts. Elijah Nunez, Brayden Taylor, Tommy Sacco, and any other speedy Frogs need to be on their game and catch the Horns on their toes to maximize opportunities on offense this weekend.
The Frogs currently sit at 2nd in the Big 12 standings, three slots above the Longhorns in 5th. A series win this weekend would propel the Frogs into first place, depending on how Oklahoma State’s series against the Sooners pans out.
There’s no hiding the fact that the Longhorns are a tough opponent, and likely the best team the Frogs have faced all season, but there’s something about beating Texas that every TCU athletics team seems to have a hankering for.
Game 1 gets underway tonight at 6:30 pm CST at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field and will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. Game 2 starts at 5 pm Saturday, and the series finale takes place at noon on Sunday. Both games 2 and 3 will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Let’s go win a series!