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Frogs enter the two-game series against UT-Pan American

The No. 15 Horned Frog baseball team will take the field for their first mid-week series of the season, playing two games against UT-Pan American Tuesday and tomorrow and five games overall this week.

The Frogs enter the two-game series with some momentum after sweeping Air Force over the weekend. The Frogs, who finished last week with a 3-1 record, held the No. 15 spot in the Baseball America Top 25 Rankings and TCU has won eight of its last 11 games and has scored 80 runs over that stretch.

Junior shortstop Taylor Featherston said the team has simplified their approach and is settling down at the plate.

“Everybody is starting to have fun and trust each other,” Featherston said. “We have a good feeling right now, one through nine [in the batting order], not trying to do too much.”

In the midst of a season-long 13-game homestand, the Frogs recorded 16 hits in Sunday’s win over Air Force and have improved their team batting average of .310 this season. The Frogs’ offense has been paced thus far by junior right fielder Brance Rivera, who is riding a 27-game hit streak and is second in the Mountain West Conference with a .412 batting average.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was impressed by the team’s commitment to staying on top of the ball and keeping it out of the air. The Frogs recorded 16 hits in their Sunday victory over Air Force on a day when it was very hard to get hits, he said.

Schlossnagle also said the starting pitching was good in the sweep of Air Force.

Junior Kyle Winkler was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Week, and the Mountain West Conference’s Pitcher of the Week after his performance Friday night against Air Force.

Winkler (5-1, 1.05 ERA) struck out 15 batters in seven innings of work, giving up just one run on four hits.

It is the first national award of Winkler’s career, and the third time he has received conference honors this season.

Winkler will likely not pitch in either of the two games against UTPA. The probable starting pitchers will be junior Erik Miller (0-5, 6.11 ERA) in game one, and junior Kyle Starratt (0-0, 4.85 ERA) in game two.

The Frogs’ staff as a whole has combined for a 2.34 team earned run average with just a .210 opponent’s batting average.

The Frogs’ opponent in the series, UT-Pan American, is 8-8 on the season. The Broncos have had an up-and-down season thus far, winning their first five games, then conceding four straight before winning three of their last four games.

The Broncos are coming off of two straight wins against Centenary College over the weekend.

UTPA will likely send Luis Flores (0-1, 5.06 ERA) to the mound in game one, and Kyle Kotchie (0-1, 2.70 ERA) in game two.

TCU has begun a busy month of April, in which they play 21 total games. The Frogs are down to their final five games of the current 13-game home stand before going on the road again for five straight games. The Frogs are 6-2 on the home stand thus far.

Series notes

Tuesday marks the 54th time the Broncos and Frogs will have met on the diamond. The Frogs lead the all-time series 39-13-1.

Schlossnagle recorded his 400th win Sunday — The Frogs are 15-0 against UTPA under Schlossnagle.

No. 15 TCU vs. UT-Pan American

Game 1

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Lupton Stadium

Probable starters: Erik Miller (0-5, 6.11 ERA) vs. Luis Flores (0-1, 5.06 ERA)

Radio: 88.7-FM KTCU watch live or follow GameTracker

Game 2

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Probable starters: Kyle Starratt (0-0, 4.85 ERA) vs. Kyle Kotchie (0-1, 2.70 ERA)

Radio: 88.7-FM KTCU watch live or follow GameTracker

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