Monday, March 7, 2011

Frog's Bats Come to Life...

He's baaaaccccckkkkkk....

...And we can still pitch pretty damn well too. As most of you probably know, TCU went up to Lubbock and swept Tech. The weekend started off with Kyle Winkler continuing his early season dominance by going 8 innings, allowing just 4 hits, and striking out 9 to move to 3-0 and keep his ERA at a pretty decent 0.00. Meh, he's alright. Teddy Nowell worked a scoreless 9th to preserve the shutout, but perhaps the most important thing from Friday night was the emergence of Jason Coats whose bat had been absent early in the season. Coats went 4-5, including a triple and a homerun. His hot bat kept up all weekend and he finished with 6 RBI's over the course of the weekend.

Saturday didn't go quite as smoothly as Friday, but the end result was just as sweet. While the Frogs built a 6-0 lead, starter Steven Maxwell breezed through 3 innings, ran into a bit of trouble in the 4th but escaped, then was unable to record an out in the 5th when Tech plated 6 runs to tie the game. Freshman righty Stefan Crichton came in to clean up the mess made by Maxwell and Appleby, and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The bats woke up again in the 7th, scoring on an Aaron Schultz suicide squeeze followed by a Josh Elander RBI single, who made his first appearance since the second game of the year against Kansas. Good to have his healthy bat back in the lineup. Erik Miller came on in the 9th for the save as the Frogs held on to win 8-6, which will hopefully get him back to his early, early season form.

In perhaps the most miraculous event of the weekend, TCU ace Matt Purke became the first person in history to ever have a blister HEAL in Lubbock without the use of Valtrex (did you really think I wasn't going to insult Tech at all?). Good to know the shoulder issue wasn't really an issue and was completely bogus. Not only was Purke able to start, but despite a pitch count that resulted in his night being finished after just 82 pitches, he worked 6 innings allowing just one hit, walking 1 and striking out 6. For those who are counting, Purke has given up 2 hits in 10 innings this year, and also has a paltry 0.00 ERA. When healthy, our staff isn't too shabby. The TCU bats stayed hot with another 8 runs and 15 hits, paced by homers from Coats (who was locked in all weekend), Rivera, and Schultz. Andrew Mitchell, Tyler Duffie, and Kyle Starratt closed out the last 3 innings allowing only 1 run as the Frogs coasted to an 8-1 victory.

I'd say the bats are awake now, and the staff is in midseason form (except maybe Maxwell, but I'm not worried). Hopefully this was just the beginning of TCU hitting their stride, and a 4 game home stand begins tomorrow with UT-Almost coming to town and Houston Baptist here this weekend. I'm going to boldly predict we win all 4 of those games. Good luck Frogs, and keep it up right through conference play.

Morning Dump

Going into spring practice, Frogs focus on what's ahead
Friday practice report

Younger Frogs are learning rapidly
Saturday practice report

Monday with Mike: defensive issues

McFarland commits to TCU

Frogs ace Purke returns, quickly stops Red Raiders

Video interviews following TCU's sweep of Texas Tech, courtesy of the Star-Telegram:
Aaron Schultz

Brance Rivera

Matt Purke
- he shows the blister

Coach Schlossnagle

Holday has great day in rare start for Detroit