Friday, March 2, 2012

TCU-Oklahoma State preview

As the Horned Frogs attempt to steady the ship of their present season following a 2-5 start, they'll be doing so during a glimpse into the future. Their next seven homes- all at home- will be against Big 12 foes, starting with the three this weekend against the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.

Sophomore Andrew Mitchell, fresh off a 12-strike out performance in last Friday's victory over Cal State Fullerton, will again be taking the mound in the first game of this series. His counterpart will be OSU junior Andrew Heaney. The lefty is 1-1 so far this year, with a sterling 1.26 ERA and 22 K's in just 14.1 innings pitched. I don't know if Vegas sets an over/under on regular-season college baseball games, but if they did I probably wouldn't be throwing my money toward the over. This ought to be a pitcher's duel.

Stefan Crichton is off to a bit of a sluggish start, having surrendered 10 hits in his 9.1 innings pitched so far this year and a 4.82 ERA. He'll take the mound for Saturday's game against Kyle Ottoson for Oklahoma State. Like Crichton, Ottoson has not had a superior start to the 2012 season. He's managed to total just 8 innings pitched over his first two starts, and has an ERA of 6.75 due in large part to the .405 average that opposing teams are hitting against him. If there's a prime time for the TCU batting order to wake from their early season slumber, it's this one.

Redshirt freshman Trey Teakell will start on Sunday, looking to improve upon his rough first part of the season. He has a 7.71 ERA in 7 innings pitched spread across 3 innings pitched, and was rocked for 8 hits and 5 runs in just 3 innings in his only start last week against Fullerton. He will be up against OSU junior Randy McCurry, who is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA despite allowing opposing hitters to hit .340 against him.

Offensively, the Cowboys are led by junior Robbie Rea, who at .350 is one of four OSU regulars hitting above .300. They are hitting just .273 as a team, but five of their players have combined for 7 home runs on the young season, so the Frog pitchers need to avoid letting anything hang out over the plate- especially if the winds are headed out at Lupton this weekend.

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