The Horned Frogs put their six-game win streak on the line tonight when they host the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (17-19), and for the second consecutive week Jim Schlossnagle has made an interesting choice for the starting pitcher in a weeknight game.
Sophomore Tyler Duffie, who has not appeared in a game for the Frogs yet this season, will take the mound to start tonight's game. He joins true freshman lefty Travis Evans as pitchers who have made their season debut in the last few weeks. Last year, Duffie appeared in 8 games, accumulating an ERA of 5.79. He held opposing batters to an average of just .219, but gave up 15 walks in just 9⅓ innings pitched.
Duffie will be opposed by ULM's Alex Hermeling, a 6'5" freshman from the Chicago area who is making his sixth start of the season. In 14⅓ total innings pitched, Hermeling has allowed opposing hitters to bat .424 against him, resulting in a grotesque 11.30 ERA. That has to be music to the ears of a TCU lineup that has struggled at the plate all year.
Offensively, the Warhawks are led by a pair of seniors- first baseman Joey Rapp and shortstop Jeremy Sy. Rapp leads ULM with 7 home runs and 28 RBIs, while his .333 average is second on the team to Sy's .336. If you can get around those two, though, the rest of the ULM batting order are hitting a collective .231.
This will be the first ever meeting on the diamond between TCU and ULM, which comes exactly seven months after the two schools' first ever meeting on the gridiron. If you're like me, you're wondering why all of a sudden these two schools have decided to start playing each other in multiple sports. It may have something to do with the relative vicinity of Fort Worth and Monroe- just over 300 miles- and the likelihood that a school like ULM would benefit from any and all exposure in the Metroplex. Or, if you sat on the east side of the stadium during the football game back in September, you no doubt remember ULM sideline reporter Amanda Joseph and don't understand why we don't play them in EVERY sport: