Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TCU-A&M preview

After having a second win streak snapped at 9 games this season, the Frogs will try to start another one in search of that elusive double-digit streak when they begin an 8-game home stand against Texas A&M at 6:30pm tonight at Lupton Stadium.  They'll also be looking for a third consecutive win over the Aggies (after beating them 4-2 last year in College Station and 6-1 two years ago in Fort Worth) and another RPI boost as the Aggies come to town ranked 18th in that regard.

If you're headed to the game tonight, get ready to get a healthy dose of "TCU is pitching their ace against us" from the dunces in maroon & white.  This has been the handy excuse for Big 12 teams losing to TCU in midweek games over the years, despite the fact that it's not the way Schlossnagle operates his team.  True freshman Brandon Finnegan will be on the mound for the Frogs tonight, making his seventh career start- and his first since March 25.  Since then, he's thrown 9⅔ scoreless innings in relief while contributing to the strong TCU bullpen effort that's been there all season- they now have a collective 2.24 ERA.

The Maroon Mormons come to Fort Worth tonight riding a five-game losing streak, including a midweek home game to Rice last Tuesday in which the Owls pitched....one of their usual midweek guys.  Two weeks prior, they lost to UT-Arlington when the Mavericks pitched...one of their usual midweek guys.

A&M head coach Rob Childress hasn't announced his starter for tonight just yet, but his usual Tuesday guy as of late has been Gandy Stubblefield, an awkwardly-named freshman right-hander from Lukfin who carries with him a 3.86 ERA and has not pitched to a decision as of yet this year.  If Childress' Tuesday pitching pattern holds tonight, you can expect to see five or six pitchers from his staff that pitches to 2.93 cumulative ERA.

One of the big questions for tonight's game will be the availability of Aggie first baseman Jacob House.  The senior from Mansfield had a streak of 107 consecutive starts snapped this past weekend when he was held out against Baylor due to a bruised foot.  He's batting .331 on the year and leads the team with 5 home runs and 36 RBIs, so his absence would definitely be felt if he's not able to go.  They do have three other regulars hitting above .300, though, led by junior outfielder Tyler Naquin- who is hitting a blistering .408 and leads the team in just about every category that House doesn't.

It looks like it should be beautiful weather for tonight's game, with a forecast of clear skies and a temperature in the low 80s at first pitch.  There are still some general admission seats available if you want to head out to Lupton- otherwise you can watch the game on The Mtn (if you have it), listen on KTCU, or keep tabs on it via twitter by following @TCU_Baseball

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