Sophomore RHP Kaleb Merck -- 2-1, 24 IP, 1.12 ERA, 18 strikeouts to four walks, has allowed three earned runs in 18 appearances
Will move on if:
They avoid trouble early. The Horned Frogs' top three starters have been nearly unbeatable (32-2) this season and TCU rode them to an undefeated record in weekend series, the only team in the country to do so. Their offense can score in a variety of ways but has struggled with stranded batters at points in the season. However, for the most part this is a stong baseball team. The Frogs were in contention for a national top-eight seed before their RPI took a big hit in a home loss to lowly Air Force in mid-May.
Could be trouble if:
They lose an early game. The Horned Frogs will start their regional with a Lamar team that snuck into the tournament with a Southland tourney suprise victory. If TCU takes care of business in that game and can outplay the Arizona-Baylor winner in the next, expect the Frogs to move on to the Super Regionals. However, the Frogs don't have a reliable fourth starter. It has hurt the team's RPI, as TCU struggled in midweek games but could power its way to two out of three wins against anyone in a series. If the Frogs lose focus in an early game, as they did in bad losses to Air Force and Dallas Baptist, and have to climb in to the region's final with a fourth starter, they could have a fight in store from Baylor or Arizona.
First game: Friday, 7 p.m. vs. No. 4 Lamar
The tourney primers will continue Tuesday with Oklahoma and Texas A&M.