The Mountaineers (27-15) (10-8) and the Horned Frogs (24-19) (6-9) are two programs going in opposite directions. Although their records are similar, West Virginia has won 5 straight Big XII series’ while TCU has lost their last 2, including getting swept at home last weekend vs. Baylor.
Who to Watch For: TCU Horned Frogs
TCU is a very good offensive team, with a couple pitchers that are outstanding as well - this team is no cakewalk. They rank near the top of the conference in batting average (.299), hits (437), runs scored (283) and stolen bases (64). On the mound, they’ve put together a rather poor 4.57 ERA, and they’ve committed 57 errors, second most in the Big XII.
- Nick Lodolo (Jr., LHP) is the only pitcher in the country who is ranked higher than our own Alek Manoah on MLB mock draft boards. Perhaps it’s because he’s a leftie (a rarer find for starting pitchers), or maybe it’s simply because he comes from a big-time baseball school in TCU. Either way, he’s put up some outstanding numbers: He’s 5-4 with a 2.15 ERA, a WHIP under 1.00 (0.97), has allowed batters to hit just .214, and has struck out 80 guys in just 71.0 innings. You’ll see him and Manoah go head-to-head on Friday night.
- Jake Guenther (R. Jr., 1B) absolutely rakes the ball offensively. He has 38 hits (.382 BA), 32 runs scored, 6 HR’s, 33 RBI’s and 10 stolen bases. Guenther bats 3rd for TCU, so you’ll be seeing a lot of him this weekend.
- Josh Watson (Sr., LF) bats right in front of Guenther and has capitalized on that by scoring a team-leading 40 runs on this season. He also leads the team with 16 doubles, and has slugged 6 HR’s with 27 RBI’s to help power the TCU lineup.
Friday, May 3rd, 6:30PM
Alek Manoah (6-2, 1.76 ERA) vs. Nick Lodolo (5-4, 2.15 ERA)
The marquee matchup of the weekend. Both Manoah and Lodolo are going to be Top 10 picks in this June’s MLB Draft, so I feel bad for the batters on both sides. Expect a low scoring game with a lot of strikeouts.
Saturday, May 4th, 4:15PM
Jackson Wolf (2-2, 3.51 ERA) vs. Charles King (3-2, 3.81 ERA)
Wolf will look to pitch deeper into this one after going just 4.0 innings vs. Texas last weekend. He only gave up 1 earned run (2 total), and got a no-decision in the win. King got torched by Baylor last Saturday, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) in just 2.1 innings in a blowout loss to the Bears.
Sunday, May 5th, 1:00PM
Kade Strowd (4-5, 4.53 ERA) vs. Brandon Williamson (3-3, 4.88 ERA)
Strowd will be given another chance to prove his worth as the Mountaineers Sunday starter as he takes on the Horned Frogs this weekend. He’s struggled as of late, including giving up 6 runs (4 earned) in a laugher last Sunday in Austin. Williamson didn’t do any better last week, giving up 6 runs (3 earned) in 3.1 innings in a loss to Baylor. Both guys will look to right the ship on Sunday.
With pretty serious inclement weather in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, there’s a strong possibility that these game times get adjusted moving forward. Keep an eye on wvusports.com for any changes to the schedule. We hope to see you this weekend at Monongalia County Ballpark! Let’s go, Mountaineers!