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TCU men’s tennis starts its run toward their national championship goal on Friday on their home court versus Harvard. Courtesy TCU.

Millions packed theaters over the weekend for Avengers: Endgame. As many tuned into HBO’s Game of Thrones, primarily to learn which of their favorite characters would vanquish at the hands of tremendous evil. TCU baseball fans can relate. Spoiler alert: Summer may not be coming for these Frogs. Last week, the Froggers narrowly lost via a walk-off bunt against the Kansas State Wildcats and haven’t won since.

Dallas Baptist started the string of Baptist beatings for the Frogs mid-week by outscoring the good guys at Lupton Stadium. The Frogs struck first, scoring their first run in the second with an RBI single. The Patriots answered in the next inning with the help of a third base throwing error. DBU continued to expose the purple defense with multi-run fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. TCU accumulated three runs on eight hits but slid short of the nine runs on 16 hits collected by the Patriots, who won easily.

Oh, My!

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Something, something, and Bears. Insert whatever you’d like to attempt to minimize the horrific home stand of TCU hosting their I-35 rivals. Baylor swept the Frogs, not with a store-bought straw broom but an industrial strength street sweeper used to wipe event spaces caked with confetti and beer bottles. I’ll spare everyone game-to-game details of the shellacking suffered via green and gold bats. Purple pitching surrendered 33 runs last weekend, and their batters drove home six measly runs to counter. Saturday was particularly painful for Frog fanatics. Pitcher Charles King, who was responsible for the only TCU win in recent memory, didn’t even complete three innings and retired after giving up six runs en route to a 15-1 drubbing. Baylor moved atop the conference standings, and TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle’s sluggers were swept for the first time this season and fell to a sixth place tie. The defense allowed an average of 10.5 runs per game last week, an alarming stat that will likely change but is indicative of the lack of pitching depth and fielding consistency that are major roadblocks for a program accustomed to post-semester success. Purple fielders are committing errors at double the rate of conference opponents. Optimists should hope this is the basement of the season and that hashtag “Lupton Magic” will reappear in time to salvage the team’s season and back their way into a regional. TCU travels to face third-place West Virginia this weekend and needs at minimum a series win to build toward a postseason berth. The clock is ticking with only nine Big 12 games remaining.

Tennis Two-Step

TCU Tennis received their dance card for the first round of the NCAA. Sixty-four teams are chosen to compete and include 30 automatic bids for conference champions. The others are chosen from an at-large group, primarily based on ITA rankings. There are 16 seeded teams, all of whom host three unseeded opponents in a regional match. The Frogs are the 10th seed and host the Harvard Crimson at 5pm on Friday at Bayard Tennis Center. The Ivy Leaguers shared two common opponents with TCU: Tulane and Columbia. Harvard lost both matches, but the Frogs emerged victorious. Coach David Roditi prepared his Froggers to eliminate Harvard via a murderer’s row pre-conference schedule and should play the winner of Arizona State vs. Miami, who face off at 2pm on Friday. The Sun Devils fell to the Horned Frogs early in the season in a 4-3 match and are ranked slightly ahead of the Hurricanes in the ITA. It’s a toss-up which squad will advance to play on Saturday to complete the regional. Let’s hope there’s a super-regional to prepare for next week. The seven-seed Mississippi State Bulldogs will likely be waiting for the winner. The Big 12 flexed their tennis muscle in tourney selection. All six men’s squads are competing in the tournament, and TCU, Baylor, and Texas were all awarded seeds and are hosting regional matches.

Draft Day

The Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility will need to create space for a few new banners for purple prodigies who are joining NFL rosters. Big surprise: All three play defense. Defensive ends LJ Collier and Ben Banogu were both drafted in the Top 50 players. Collier joins an elite group as the fifth first-round pick from the Gary Patterson era. The Seattle Seahawks loved his motor and versatility to bull-rush, speed-rush, and set the edge against the run. Banogu flew off the board in the second round to the Indianapolis Colts and should fit nicely as a rotational pass rusher. Linebacker Ty Summers will get cheesy in Green Bay and work into the special teams rotation while he learns the defense. Summers was a bargain in the seventh round to build linebacker depth. Linebacker Jawuan Johnson and potential fullback Casey McDermott Vai weren’t drafted but can road-trip with their teammate Collier to attend the Seahawks rookie minicamp and attempt to earn roster spots. Guard Chris Gaynor was invited to work out for the L.A. Rams, and former Frog KaVontae Turpin will continue to shop for a team interested in his return talents despite looming legal troubles that prompted his dismissal from the squad during the season.

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