College World Series Preview: TCU vs. Florida State

There is never a lot of baseball going on this site, but the College World Series is the big times and this is the first appearance by TCU.  Also, this gives my a chance to pimp out SBN Dallas has s Story Stream of TCU at the College World Series. 

Saturday, June 19th -  2PM ET

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD

Radio: Listen Live

Internet Feed: ESPN3

GameTracker

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No reason not to tune in since it is online and on television, and this could serve as a nice break from the BZZZZZ from the vuvuzela's and instead be replaced by the PING!!! of the aluminum bats.  TCU made it to the CWS by defeating Texas in three games in the Super Regional round.

Baseball Prospectus looks at how first time teams fair in the College World Series:

Teams making their first CWS appearances seldom fare well in Omaha. Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1999, eight teams have made their CWS debuts, including Southern Mississippi and Virginia last year. All of them lost their first game, and none won more than two games. But of the eight teams in Omaha this year, just Arizona State (which was in Omaha last year) and Florida State (which made the trip in 2008) have players on the current roster with CWS experience, so maybe the Omaha experience factor will be negated somewhat. Either that or the Sun Devils and Seminoles will have a decided edge over the rest of the field.

That does not bode well for TCU, but they do have an excellent top heavy pitching staff could make TCU a possible threat in this years College World Series.  Their strength of schedule in a poor Mountain West has not proven to stop TCU so far, but in the final top 25 TCU was 7th while Florida State finished 11th.

This preview comes from Baseball Prospectus talking about TCU:

TCU makes its first trip to Omaha, while Florida State participates for the 19th time. TCU's pitching shut down Texas in two of their three games, and could very well send Florida State to the losers' bracket with a similar performance. Standout Matt Purke was named the nation's Freshman Pitcher of the Year after spurning the Texas Rangers in the first round 2009 draft when he demanded a signing bonus on par with Rick Porcello. Purke has yet to lose in college, boasts a 133:28 (4.75) K:BB ratio, and is still last amongst TCU's three starters in ERA at 3.23, with Steven Maxwell and Kyle Winkler giving up 2.41 and 2.84 runs per nine innings. In his last four starts, Purke has a 2.42 ERA, throwing 26 innings and allowing seven earned runs, while giving up seven walks against 39 strikeouts for a K:BB ratio of 5.57. Closer Tyler Lockwood and reliever Kaleb Merck have each put up very strong numbers with ERAs of 1.97 and 1.08 and opponents hitting .239 and .203. While the sample size for TCU is tough to analyze, with the Mountain West Conference only fielding seven teams-and the median RPI 90 spots lower than the SEC-recent performances demonstrate the Horned Frogs will need to get at least seven innings from their starters in Omaha and get the ball to Lockwood with a lead. With the exceptions of TCU and New Mexico, the Mountain West fielded a particularly weak field in comparison to the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10.

Again pitching is the strength of the TCU and looks to be the way if they are to advance, and here is an analysis from our Florida State site Tomahawk Nation:

The MWC is not a team full of good baseball schools, in fact it is full with a bunch of bad ones. Carrying only 7 teams it currently stands at #10 in the WarrenNolan RPI rankings that that is due largely in part to the success of TCU. Their competition consisted of 5 schools within the MWC that have a RPI of 100 or worse.

In the 24 conference games played this season only 3 of TCU's game came against an opponent with an RPI of 100 or better (New Mexico, 53). In the 39 other games played by the Frogs' 16 were against teams with a RPI of 50 or better and 25 were against teams with a RPI of 100 or better. For that very reason we will be focusing more closely on the performances that TCU has had against their out of conference opponents.

Then there is this from Hardball Times regarding to TCU's super freshman pitcher Matt Purke

Also watch: LHP Matt Purke Sorry, Rangers fans. He would've been expensive to sign away from college last year, but it probably would've been worth it. Purke was one of the best pitchers in college baseball this year, striking out more than 11 per nine innings. Particularly nasty are his numbers against lefties: 82 batters faced, slash line against of .198/.280/.247, and 35 strikeouts. 

Come here and comment on the game or for an open thread from the Florida State side check out Tomahawk Nation who is running an open thread.

 

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