Baseball Opens League Play At UNLV Friday

March 15, 2012

GAME DAY INFORMATION

TCU (8-6) @ UNLV (10-7)
 Dates (Time)  Friday, March 16 (6:05 p.m.) | Saturday, March 17 (4:05 p.m.) | Sunday, March 18 (3:05 p.m.)
 Location  Earl E. Wilson Stadium| Las Vegas, Nev.
 Starting Pitchers

 Friday: Stefan Crichton vs. Joe Robinson
 Saturday: Andrew Mitchell vs. Zak Qualls
 Sunday: Brandon Finnegan vs. Erik Fedde

 Watch Live None
 Radio  Listen Live
 Gametracker  FRIDAY | SATURDAY | SUNDAY
 Game Notes  TCU Get Acrobat Reader | UNLV Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media  Facebook | Twitter

FORT WORTH, Texas -The TCU Horned Frogs will take their six-game winning streak on the road as they open up Mountain West play at UNLV on Friday. The contest is the start of a season-long eighth game road swing.

TCU NOTABLES
• TCU has won six straight games after taking a 7-3 victory over UTSA Tuesday night in San Antonio.
• Josh Elander had a career-high five hits in the contest and drove in three runs.
• Kevin Allen has tossed 11 1/3 scoreless innings in his eight appearances this season.
• Stefan Crichton has allowed just one run in his last 19 innings pitched.
• Jason Coats' string of 120 straight starts came to an end Tuesday night, he did pinch hit, so has played in 121 straight contests.
• Axel Johnson notched his first career hit on Tuesday night, a two-run single in the 12th inning.
• TCU has played three straight errorless games.
• TCU is 2-0 in extra innings this season.
• The Horned Frogs have won five straight games over Big 12 opponents and are 5-1 against the league so far this season.
• Brance Rivera returned to the lineup Sunday.

UNLV NOTABLES
• UNLV was picked to finish second in the league this season.
• The Rebels are off to a 10-7 start this season and have won four of their last five contests.
• They are coming off a 22-12 route of Southern Utah on Tuesday night.
• Trevor Kirk has gotten off to a hot start with a .408 batting average.
• Preseason all-conference member Brandon Bayardi is the top run producer with 20 RBIs on the season.
• The Rebels have hit just seven home runs as a team, two each by Bayardi, Mark Shannon and Marvin Campbell.
• On the mound, the pitching staff has a 3.72 ERA.
• Zak Qualls and Joe Robinson have two wins each to lead the pitching staff.
• Zack Hartman is the go-to guy in the late innings with three saves.

SERIES NOTABLES
• Friday's meeting with the Rebels will be the 36th all time. TCU holds a 32-13 series lead.
• TCU took 5-of-6 from UNLV in 2011.
• TCU is 14-8 all-time against UNLV at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
• Since Jim Schlossnagle arrived in 2004, the Horned Frogs are 25-3 against the Rebels.
• Prior to the win in Fort Worth in 2011, UNLV's only victories against TCU under Schlossnagle came in 2008.

TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
   TCU has been a dominating force in the Mountain West since joining the league in the 2005-06 academic year. They have won six straight regular season titles and four conference tournament titles, representing 10 of the 12 trophies dished out since the Frogs joined the league.
   The Frogs 110 league victories are 29 more than San Diego State's 81 wins over the last six years.

FREE BASEBALL
   TCU has played 30 extra-inning games in the Jim Schlossnagle era. Tuesday's victory in 12 innings at UTSA marked the 21st extra-inning victory under Schlossnagle. The Frogs are 12-2 under Schlossnagle away from home in extra innings.
   TCU played in only four extra-inning games in 2011 and finished with a 2-2 record.
   The Frogs exploded for four two-out runs Tuesday to earn a 7-3 victory. Josh Elander's fifth hit of the night drove in the go-ahead run and Axel Johnson provided the insurance with a two-run pinch hit single.

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
   Last Tuesday's victory over Baylor turned into an NCAA record breaking night at Lupton Stadium. The pitching staffs for both teams combined to out-hit the offenses as they plunked a combined 13 batters and surrendered just 12 hits.
   The 13 combined hit batters breaks the NCAA mark of 12 set on three different occasions. Additionally, the TCU pitching staff tied an NCAA record by being responsible for 10 of the hit batters. Two other teams also lay claim to that record.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT
   After committing 18 errors in in the first 11 games, the Frogs have played three straight errorless games.. Five of the 18 came in game three against the Titans and cost the Frogs six unearned runs in a game that TCU eventually lost 11-10.
   On the season, TCU is fielding .967. The 18 errors have cost the Frogs 12 unearned runs this season.

BULLPEN STRENGTH
  
One of the keys to the Frogs' come-from-behind victory at UTSA on Tuesday night was the ability of the bullpen to shut down the Roadrunner offense. Trey Teakell took over with only two outs in the first and he combined with Justin Scharf, Kevin Allen and Kaleb Merck to shut out the Roadrunners for 11 1/3 innings.
   Allen has been outstanding in eight relief appearances over 11 1/3 innings pitched. Merck has surrendered just one unearned run in nine innings pitched. Scharf has held opponents scoreless in seven of his eight appearances.
   On the season, the bullpen has posted a 6-1 record to go along with a 1.86 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .203 and have fanned 59 times.

NEW FACES GALORE
   Caleb St. Laurent became the latest Horned Frog to make his collegiate debut on Tuesday when he was used as a pinch runner in the Frogs' six run eighth inning. He marks the 15th Horned Frog to make his debut this season.
   All told, the Frogs have utilitzed three junior college transfers, three redshirt freshmen and nine true freshmen.

STREAKING FROGS
   Since opening the season 2-6, the Frogs have rattled off six straight wins, five of which have come against three schools from the Big 12. The victories have pushed the Frogs season record to 8-6 heading into the start of conference play.
   One of the keys to the wins have come courtesy of a heated up offense. Josh Elander's bat has been on fire as he is hitting .550 with four RBIs. Jerrick Suiter has also been swinging hot bat with a .417 average.
   On the mound, the pitching staff has limited opponents to a .217 batting average and boasts an ERA of 2.17. Kevin Allen and Stefan Crichton each have two wins. Kaleb Merck has pitched in all six contests.