Friday, April 13, 2012

TCU-Air Force Preview

I'm just going to come right out and say it: the Frogs need to sweep Air Force in all three games this weekend. The Falcons come to Fort Worth with an overall record of 8-22 and have an RPI ranking of #256. Not only would a single loss severely damage TCU's image in the eye of the computers- but even three straight wins may hurt them a little bit, too. From an RPI perspective, you almost want to root for at least one rain-out. But for the spirit of the game, the potential for fun out at the ballpark and the chances for our young players to develop and gain confidence, we won't actually use voodoo to make rain- the lakes are close enough to full now, anyway.

Sophomore Andrew Mitchell, who looked like his old self fanning 10 batters against UNC-Wilmington last weekend, returns to the Friday night starting slot he held at the beginning of the year. He'll be countered by Air Force sophomore and Grapevine High alum Cameron White, who should not be confused with TCU's own sophomore wide receiver of the same name.

Freshman Preston Morrison, who has been the most pleasant surprise on this year's team, will make his second career start on Saturday. He'll be taking on Midland native Ben Bertleson, who sports an 0-6 record this year to go along with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts.

Sophomore Stefan Cricthon, who pitched four efficient innings against UTA on Wednesday, will start on Sunday- but look for him to be on some kind of a limited pitch count. Crichton will be matched against Air Force's best pitcher, Evan Albrecht. The senior is off to a good start this year, tallying a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 2.69. He also averages more than 7 innings per start, so the Frogs will have their work cut out for them in this one.

One thing to keep an eye on is whether or not Jason Coats will play this weekend. His streak of playing in 135 consecutive games ended when he missed Wednesday night's game against UTA, and it's not clear when he will return. His continued absence would be a tough pill to swallow.

No comments: