Frogs save strength for second game

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    In the Mountain West Conference tournament, TCU blasted Utah to the tune of 14 runs in the semifinal before struggling against New Mexico in a quick turnaround.

    Tonight the Frogs hope to avoid a similar letdown as they square off against Dallas Baptist in the winners bracket of the Fort Worth Regional. Though the Patriots won both regular season matchups against TCU, Coach Jim Schlossnagle said he believed his team was poised for a strong performance today.

    “How we perform against Oklahoma or Dallas Baptist in the regular season does not define our team,” he said.

    But a win in tonight’s game would leave TCU as the only team without a loss in the tournament, effectively putting them in the driver’s seat.

    On March 1, the Patriots took a 4-3 victory in Fort Worth. Stefan Crichton committed two errors and Erik Miller allowed three hits in the ninth to concede the game in the final frame.

    On April 25, the Frogs traveled to Dallas where they dropped a 9-7 decision. Nick Frey gave up five runs in less than two inning’s worth of work and only a steller performance from Kyle Starratt kept TCU in it.

    Starratt had eight strikeouts in six and a third innings and Joe Weik and Josh Elander homered. Brance Rivera hit a two run single in the eighth inning with two outs to tie the game but the Patriots again won it in the ninth inning when Jason Krizan hit a walk off home run.

    TCU fared better yesterday, dominating all facets of the game en route to a 10-2 victory. Andrew Mitchell pitched seven sterling innings and the offense had little trouble manufacturing runs with timely hitting.

    Matt Purke, who has been working off of a limited pitch count since returning to action, is expected to make the start for the Frogs. Purke’s record is 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA this season.

    Yesterday’s success allowed the Frogs to save the arms of Trent Appleby, Stefan Crichton, and Erik Miller, all prominent relievers who will likely play big roles in TCU’s postseason run.

    Tonight’s game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lupton Stadium

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