TCU baseball aiming for another Big 12 series against Baylor

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the time is now for TCU baseball to gear up to make a postseason run.

While the Horned Frogs (26-16, 10-14) have underachieved after a historic start to the season, there’s still plenty of time to turn that around with 10 games in 15 days starting with Friday’s road game at Baylor (20-23, 9-12).

TCU picked up a much needed series win last weekend, taking the series 2-1 with Kansas State with a 12-0 shutout on Friday and a 7-4 win on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

It was an encouraging performing considering how much TCU has struggled at the plate recently. The 12 and seven runs were the most TCU has scored in a game since a 14-1 win over Houston all the way back on March 28.

The Horned Frogs had a number of different players step up in each victory with Kurtis Byrne and Logan Maxwell chipping in three RBIs while Luke Boyers had a home run in the Friday victory. On Saturday, Arthur Jack stepped up to drive in two runs to lead TCU to the series clinching win.

Was it enough to improve TCU’s standing in the latest round of bracketology? While it was a good start, it wasn’t enough to put TCU firmly into the field in most projections.

College Sports Madness doesn’t have TCU in the field while both D1Baseball and Baseball America have the Horned Frogs in the first four out. Ideally a team would much rather feel secure with its tournament resume this late in the season, but it’s clear a strong run to close the season should be enough to have TCU in the field though a strong showing in the Big 12 Tournament could still be necessary.

The Horned Frogs have to focus on what they can control and that starts with picking up a second straight league series against the Bears. One of the biggest challenges for TCU will simply be playing away from Lupton Stadium as the Horned Frogs are only 4-11 on the road.

The Bears have been at their best in Waco with a respectable 15-11 home record compared to being just 5-12 in road and neutral games. Hostile environment aside, this figures to be another matchup where TCU can build offensive confidence.

Baylor ranks near the bottom of the league in many key defensive categories. The Bears are 12th in ERA with over six per game and 13th in fielding percentage. TCU has to take advantage of a subpar bullpen to avoid a late season setback, but if it’s a pitcher’s duel that should still favor the Horned Frogs.

TCU’s bullpen has allowed just nine earned runs in the last 57 innings of work and the Horned Frogs rank second in the Big 12 in strikeouts and ninth nationally. Enzo Apodaca is the top hitter on Baylor with an impressive .339 batting average and 35 RBIs on the year.

Jordan Wesley provides the power in the Bears’ lineup with seven home runs and 19 extra base hits on the year. The Bears will be a tricky opponent for TCU over the weekend, but if the Horned Frogs play like they did against Kansas State then TCU should collect another series win in its final road series of the season.

Game 1 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday.