Monday, April 16, 2012

Three steps in the right direction

It was a good weekend all around for the TCU baseball team as they swept the visiting Air Force Falcons, stretching their winning streak to six games and improving their overall record to 20-13. The wins bumped the Frogs up a few spots in the RPI rankings, where they currently reside at #43, and helped move them into a 1st place tie in the MWC with New Mexico after the Lobos dropped a game against San Diego State. A few other notes from the weekend:

-Andrew Mitchell is Andrew Mitchell once again. There were big expectations this year for the sophomore from Houston, and he's starting to show why. On Friday night, he spread just 3 base hits over 7 scoreless innings, walking just 1 batter while striking out 13. He's improved to 4-2 on the season, and his ERA is down to 3.15 while his opponents' batting average is down to .188.

-The rest of the rotation isn't too shabby, either. Freshman Preston Morrison and Stefan Crichton both improved to 5-0 on the year with strong outings of their own on Saturday and Sunday. The Frogs' weekend starters can stand toe to toe with the 1-2-3 guys from any team in the country.

-As good as the starters were this weekend, the bullpen was even better. Juniors Kaleb Merck and Kevin Allen along with freshmen Trey Teakell, Brandon Finnegan and Travis Evans combined to allow just 4 hits in 7 ⅔ scoreless innings, walking 2 while striking out 8.

-Josh Elander and Jantzen Witte led a resurgent offensive attack. Elander (5-10, 4 RBI on the weekend) and Witte (5-11, 2 RBI) both went deep in Sunday's win, and the Frogs as a whole collected 26 total hits on the weekend to inch their team batting average back north of .240 for the season.

-Timely hitting by young guys. In the 1st inning of Friday night's win, freshmen Jerrick Suiter and Kevin Cron both delivered two-out, RBI singles to give the Frogs an early 2-0 lead. After Elander doubled to open up the 3rd inning of that game, Cron and Derek O'Dell followed his lead by each driving in a run on doubles of their own- expanding the TCU lead to 4-0 and knocking Air Force starter Cameron White from the game early.

-11,923 fans passed through Lupton Stadium this weekend, making this the 9th-best three game series in stadium history. Through 20 home games, the season total attendance is 83,460- which averages out to about 4,173 per game.

Highlights from Game 1:

Game 2:

Game 3:

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