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TCU vs Texas Super Regional Preview

Chance Ruffin and the Texas Longhorns host TCU in the Austin Super Regional this weekend.

Chance Ruffin and the Texas Longhorns host TCU in the Austin Super Regional this weekend. (Statesman Photo)

The Texas Longhorns will meet the TCU Horned Frogs in the Austin Super Regional.  Both teams swept their way through regional play to earn their spots in this weekend’s Super Regional play.  Texas used late inning heroics to take a 25 inning marathon from Boston College and a walk-off grand slam to seal the regional championship against Army.  TCU went relatively untested in their first two games of regional play before a come-from-behind victory over Oregon State won the regional and advanced them to the Super Regionals.

The series will begin Saturday at 5 p.m. CT at UFCU Disch-Falk Field and will be aired on ESPNU.  Game two will be Sunday at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN, and the third game of the series, if necessary, will be Monday at 6 p.m. CT on either ESPN or ESPN2.

TCU (39-16)

The TCU Horned Frogs earned their spot in the Super Regionals by sweeping their way through the Fort Worth Regional, taking down Wright State and then Oregon State twice.  The Frogs bring a team batting average of .312 into the series and have 62 team homeruns and 59 stolen bases on the year.  Matt Vern leads the offense with a .363 average, 15 homeruns, and 16 stolen bases in 22 attempts.  Chris Ellington leads the team in runs batted in with 52 on the season.  The TCU offense averages 7.4 runs per game, and the team is 31-5 when scoring 6 runs or more.

The Horned Frog staff boasts a 4.17 team ERA this year.  The Frogs used a weekend rotation of Paul Gerrish, Kyle Winkler, and Tyler Lockwood last weekend in regional play.  Gerrish is a right hander with a 6-2 record and 4.00 ERA in 54 innings on the mound.  Winkler leads the staff in starts with 13 and has a perfect 7-0 record with a 3.95 ERA in a team-high 68.1 innings.  Lockwood is a junior righty with a 4-1 record and 4.41 ERA in 67.1 innings.  Erik Miller, 0-2 with  3 saves and a 4.21 ERA in 25.2 innings over 21 relief appearances, and Taylor Cragin, 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings over 16 relief appearances, provide the Frogs with solid middle relief.  Eric Marshall serves as the TCU closer and has posted a 2-2 record with 8 saves and a 1.30 ERA in 22 appearances and 27.2 innings on the bump.  Opponents are scoring an average of 4.7 runs per game against the Frogs this year.

TCU is 19-7 in games away from Lupton Stadium this year, posting a 16-7 record in away games and a perfect 3-0 record in neutral site contests.

Probable Starting Rotation:
Saturday – Paul Gerrish (R. Jr., RHP, 6-2, 4.00 ERA)
Sunday – Kyle Winkler (Fr., RHP, 7-0, 3.95 ERA)
Monday – Tyler Lockwood (Jr., RHP, 4-1, 4.41 ERA) or Greg Holle (So, RHP, 5-2, 3.89 ERA)

Texas (44-13-1)

The Texas Longhorns enter the Super Regionals after a three game sweep through the Austin Regional including two wins over Army and an epic 25 inning victory over Boston College.  The Longhorns sport a .287 team batting average and have 36 homeruns and 70 stolen bases.  First baseman Brandon Belt leads the offense with a .338 average, 14 steals in 17 attempts, and is tied with Cameron Rupp for the team lead in homeruns with 8.  Rupp also leads the team with 39 runs batted in on the year.  The Texas offense excels in small ball, laying down 88 sacrifice hits this season.  The Longhorns are scoring an average of 6 runs per contest entering Super Regional play.

The Longhorn pitching staff has put together an amazing 2.83 team ERA this year.  The staff ace is Chance Ruffin, who is 9-2 with a 2.95 ERA in a team-high 106.2 innings of work.  Cole Green leads the Texas staff in starts with 16 and has a 5-2 record with a 2.98 ERA in 87.2 innings.  Taylor Jungmann stepped into the rotation toward the end of the season and is 7-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 73.1 innings over 20 appearances, including 8 starts.  Brandon Workman moved from the rotation to the bullpen and now provides the Longhorns with a big-time arm capable of chunking multiple innings.  For the year, Workman is 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 70.1 innings.  Austin Wood has been the workhorse out of the Texas bullpen.  Most will know Wood for his 13 innings of shutout relief in the 25 inning marathon win over Boston College, but the senior lefty has a team-high 35 appearances out of the bullpen and a 5-1 record with 15 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 75.1 innings on the mound.  The Longhorns are allowing opponents to score an average of only 3.5 runs per game on the year.

Texas is 29-6-1 this season at home, including a perfect 3-0 record in post-season play.  The two teams played once this season, with the Longhorns posting a 6-0 victory over the Frogs in Austin in a mid-week contest.

Probable Starting Rotation:

Saturday – Chance Ruffin (So., RHP, 9-2, 2.95 ERA)
Sunday – Cole Green (So., RHP, 5-2, 2.98 ERA)
Monday – Taylor Jungmann (Fr., RHP, 7-3, 2.45 ERA)

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