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Getting to Know the TCU Horned Frogs

Matt Vern leads TCU and finished tied for first in the Mountain West Conference with 15 home runs. Here, he hits a game tying home run in the eighth inning against Wichita State. (Photo via TCU)
Matt Vern leads TCU and finished tied for first in the Mountain West Conference with 15 home runs. Here, he hits a game tying home run in the eighth inning against Wichita State. (Photo via TCU)

The Beavers were selected as the No. 3 seed in the Fort Worth Regional this morning on ESPN's Selection Show, and will play Texas A&M on Friday at 12:00 p.m. The host team and No. 1 seed in the regional is Texas Christian University. If both the Beavers and Horned Frogs win their games on Friday, or if they both lose, OSU and TCU will meet up in a second round game. However, due to the double elimination nature of the bracket, the Beavers and Horned Frogs could find another way to meet up if one wins and one loses on Friday. 

TCU finished the year at 36-16 overall and 15-5 in the Mountain West Conference. They're one of three teams out of the MWC to qualify, with San Diego State (Irvine Regional) and Utah (Fullerton Regional) also being selected. Utah, who finished sixth in the MWC, won the conference tournament to qualify for post-season play, eliminating TCU 6-4 in a Semifinal game last week. Utah, by way of winning the tournament, snuck into the field of 64 with a 8-16 conference record. 

The regional will be played at Lupton Stadium, the home field of the Horned Frogs TCU is 19-7 on their home field this season. This is the first time that TCU has ever hosted a regional, but they've made six straight trips to regional play. They're one of sixteen teams to have qualified for the field of 64 in the past six years. 

TCU has seven players hitting above .300 and has a team batting average of .310. They've hit  61 home runs as a team this season, which sounds like a lot by Oregon State standards (21 on the year), but rank at 66 in the country in long balls. Senior first baseman Matt Vern leads the team with a .369 average and a MWC-best 15 home runs. Senior third baseman Matt Carpenter is hitting .339 with 9 home runs, and senior right fielder Chris Ellington is hitting .330 with 5 home runs. 

The Horned Frogs have the second best team ERA (3.94) in the MWC behind San Diego State. In twelve starts, freshman right-hander Kyle Winkler has accumulated a 6-0 record and has a 4.33 ERA. Senior Taylor Cragin, who has 16 appearances out of the bullpen, has a 2.68 ERA. Junior closer Eric Marshall has eight saves on the season, and has the third best ERA in the conference at 1.35. 

TCU has the third best fielding percentage in the conference at .967 under sixth year head coach Jim Schlossnagle. Schlossnagle is 246-116 all-time at TCU. 

TCU will play No. 4 seed Wright State in the first round of the regional. That game will begin Friday at 5:00 p.m., Pacific. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)