If you recognize Garrett Buechele, it might be because he's hit safely in 5 of 6 career games against TCU...or because his Dad is Steve Buechele
The term "regional tournament" has been a bit of a stretch the first two years that the NCAA selected TCU to host one, with teams like Arizona, Oregon State and Wright State being flown to Fort Worth for them. But this year, the name fits as TCU hosts three teams- Oklahoma, Oral Roberts and Dallas Baptist- that are all within driving distance and probably have significant numbers of alumni in the Metroplex. Not only, though, are these schools not far from TCU- the Frogs have actually played all three of them this year- beating Oral Roberts in their only meeting while losing twice each to DBU and OU. Because you know all four coaching staffs are looking back at these games, let's do so, too:
-March 1 in Fort Worth: Dallas Baptist 4, TCU 3: This was the beginning of the frustrating midweek losses for the Frogs this year, as Stefan Crichton committed two of the four TCU errors on the night while making his first career start. Erik Miller, still in the closer's role at that point, gave up three hits in the Top of the 9th to let DBU take the lead for good. Brandon Williamson, one of DBU's main starters that the Frogs may very well see this weekend, pitched 6 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits (including a 2-run HR by Taylor Featherston) while striking out 1 and surrendering 3 walks.
-April 12 in Norman: Oklahoma 13, TCU 6: Erik Miller gave up two runs in the first inning, and the Frogs just could never catch up to OU in this one. The Sooners actually only out-hit the Frogs 12 to 11, but another four Horned Frog errors were the difference as they directly led to 4 runs for Oklahoma. Jantzen Witte and Zac Jordan led the way for TCU offensively, combining for 5 doubles between the two of them. John Jordan, another candidate to pitch against the Frogs this weekend, started the game for the Sooners but went just 3 innings and they used a by-committee approach that saw 7 different pitchers throw against TCU.
-April 25 in Dallas: Dallas Baptist 9, TCU 7: Nick Frey gave up 5 runs and wasn't even able to make it out of the 2nd inning in this start, but Kyle Starratt pitched a career game with 8 K's in 6 1/3 strong innings of relief to allow the Frogs to get back in it. Joe Weik and Josh Elander both homered and Brance Rivera had an extremely clutch 2-run, 2-out single in the 8th as TCU erased an early 6-2 deficit. But Schlossnagle was saving his arms for the game against OU the next night and left a gassed Starratt in for the 9th and Jason Krizan put an 0-1 fastball over the right-field fence for the walk-off win. It was Williamson again for DBU- this time he went 7 innings giving up 5 runs on 7 hits.
-April 26 in Fort Worth: Oklahoma 7, TCU 4: It was a rough start for Andrew Mitchell, who gave up 4 runs in just over 3 innings of work. I don't want to tag all of it on him, though, as 3 of the 4 TCU errors on the night came in the 2nd inning. Joe Weik hit a home run for the Frogs, but the Frogs could never string together more than a single run in an inning. The Sooners again used a by-committee approach, getting 3 innings from Bobby Shore, 4 from Dillon Overton and the final 2 from John Jordan.
-May 17 in Fort Worth: TCU 6, Oral Roberts 4: In their final home game of the regular season, the Frogs finally got a win against one of the teams they'd see in the postseason. Kyle Starratt pitched 6 efficient innings to earn his first victory of the season, and the Frog lineup was able to string together 6 runs despite being out-hit by the Golden Eagles, 10-7. If you are assuming that ORU used one of their best pitchers in this game, you'd be wrong- Brad Fisher, who made just one other start this season, pitched three innings before a committee of 4 ORU relievers finished the game.
...and for those of you that are interesting, Dallas Baptist also beat Oklahoma 3-2 in Norman on April 19th. Neither of those teams played Oral Roberts this season.