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Why struggling TCU baseball could make a postseason run, beginning with Big 12 tournament

Postseason play begins Tuesday for TCU as the Horned Frogs hope to catch fire and make a run toward the College World Series.

TCU (31-19, 14-16) earned the No. 9 seed in the Big 12 tournament this week at Globe Life Field in Arlington after finishing league play below .500. TCU will face No. 4 West Virginia at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Horned Frogs did enough at the end of the season to be on the right side of the bubble in most NCAA Tournament projections, but TCU will head to Arlington reeling a bit.

The Horned Frogs lost three of their final four games, including dropping the series to the Mountaineers at Lupton Field last weekend. Now TCU will need to avoid a third straight loss to West Virginia if it hopes to avoid being on the brink of elimination.

After winning the opening game of the series against West Virginia 6-3, the Horned Frogs fell 7-2 and 6-5. Even with a shaky performance in the final series of the regular season TCU’s bullpen could still be the difference in the Horned Frogs advancing to the next round.

The Horned Frogs are still top three in the Big 12 in ERA, strikeouts and hits allowed. Last year it was TCU’s high-powered lineup that propelled the Horned Frogs to Omaha, but now TCU may need to rely on a more defensive approach and rely on ace pitchers like Peyton Tolle.

The Big 12 tournament is a double elimination format so a loss wouldn’t eliminate TCU on Tuesday, but it would put an immense amount of pressure on the Horned Frogs in the elimination game Wednesday morning.

2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship

Tuesday, May 21

Game 1 – No. 6 Kansas State vs. No. 7 Kansas, 9 a.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 2 – No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 9 TCU, 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 3 – No. 5 Cincinnati vs. No. 8 UCF, 4 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 4 – No. 3 Texas vs. No. 10 Texas Tech, 7:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Wednesday, May 22

Game 5 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, 9 a.m. , ESPNU

Game 6 – No. 1 Oklahoma vs. lower-seeded winner of Games 1 & 2, 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 7 – Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 4 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 8 – No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. Lower-seeded winner of Games 3 & 4, 7:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Thursday, May 23

Game 9 – Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser, 9 a.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 10 – Game 6 Winner vs. Higher-seeded winner of Games 1 & 2, 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 11 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser, 4 p.m., ESPNU

Game 12 – Game 8 Winner vs. Higher-seeded winner of Games 3 & 4, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

Friday, May 24

Game 13 – Game 10 Loser vs. Game 9 Winner, 9 a.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 14 – Game 10 Winner vs. Game 13 Winner (semifinal), 12:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 15 – Game 12 Loser vs. Game 11 Winner, 4 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 16 – Game 12 Winner vs. Game 15 Winner (semifinal), 7:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Saturday, May 25

Game 17 – Championship Game, 6 p.m., ESPNU