Monday, May 23, 2011

UNM series recap

When Walt spends his hard-earned money taking his family to the ballpark, he expects the home team to win at least one game...

Earlier this spring, David Peterson of HornedFrogSports.com and I were discussing the prospects for this year's baseball team. I was fairly pessimistic at the time, perhaps dwelling too much on the ugly midweek losses that dotted the early part of the Frogs' schedule. David, though, had a much brighter outlook on things and said that WHEN (not if) they finished the regular season 20-5 in the last 25 games, that the Frogs would be in a very good position to host an NCAA Regional for the third consecutive year. With their sweep of New Mexico over the weekend in Albuquerque, TCU reached 40 regular season wins for the third time in program history and finished those final 25 games with a record of...20-5.

It certainly wasn't a run-of-the-mill weekend series in the spacious but offensively-conducive Iosotopes Park in the thin-air of apparently Simpsons-minded Albuquerque. The teams combined for 70 runs on 92 hits over three days, highlighted by the football-like score of 25-16 in the Frogs' win on Friday afternoon. The only thing that could stop the offensive outburst was the sterling return of Matt Purke and Kyle Winkler, who combined for nearly 8 innings of shut-out ball in the 9-0 win on Thursday. Teddy Nowell and Tyler Duffie combined to get the last four outs of that ballgame to preserver the goose-egg.

At the plate, it was a stat-padding weekend for TCU. As a team, they scored 46 runs on 53 hits for the weekend while also showing some patience with 16 walks. Four players (Jantzen Witte, Jason Coats, Joe Weik and Taylor Featherston) recorded at least 8 hits on the weekend- including Witte's 6-hit game on Friday and Joe Weik's 4-for-4 day on Thursday. Featherston drove in 8 runs to lead the way, followed closley by Coats and Weik, who each had 7 RBIs. TCU went deep 5 times on the weekend, including a monster shot by Zac Jordan on Friday that was estimated to have been hit well over 400 feet and a three-run shot by Aaron Schultz who went 2-for-2 in his return to action.

With their 40-15 overall record and #15 RPI ranking, TCU is now in good position to host a Regional during the first weekend in June. Of course, that is if they can win the MWC Tournament- which starts tomorrow in San Diego. The Frogs' first game of the tournament will be Wednesday night agains the lower seed to advance out of Tuesday's opening-round games.

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