OKLAHOMA CITY — About the only silver lining in the aftermath of a tragedy like the death and destruction left by a tornado in Moore, Okla., is the outpouring of goodwill from strangers.The TCU baseball team joined in that effort by donating goods and manpower at a church Tuesday. The team took a bus to a Target store and each player bought $100 worth of goods and then drove to a church taking donations.At the Life Church in south Oklahoma City, just north of the tornado-ravaged area in Moore, the team helped sort donations.“It was a pretty big drop-off point so we ended up helping them organize things,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said.“From the second we pulled into the area, guys were texting me wondering what we could do. It was a great experience. Baseball took a backseat at that time and the kids really stepped up.”The Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday it was donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The conference will contribute money from tournament proceeds.All the teams are wearing “We Stand United” decals in the shape of the state of Oklahoma on their helmets during the tournament.West Virginia was the first team to lend a hand. The Mountaineers and former TCU assistant Randy Mazey made a Walmart run and donated items Monday.TCU’s trip to Oklahoma City on Monday took over six hours when the team’s bus was forced to pull over with tornadoes north and south of their bus.TCU donated about $3,000 out of its baseball budget to the relief effort.Storms delay startThunderstorms delayed the start of the tournament Thursday morning. Oklahoma and Baylor were scheduled to begin Game 1 at 9 a.m. but didn’t start until 12:30 p.m. The Sooners won 2-0 in a relatively quick two-hour and 10-minute game.Top-seeded Kansas State defeated No. 8 seed Texas Tech 4-3 in Game 2, and No. 6 Kansas beat No. 3 West Virginia 7-2 in Game 3.The last game between No. 7 TCU and No. 2 Oklahoma State, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., was pushed back to a 9:10 start.“Tournament play is all about handling the change in the schedule and everything that comes up in the course of a tournament, like we had in the regional last year,” Jim Schlossnagle said. “So just be prepared for it and they have been. We’re just anxious to play.”The Horned Frogs (28-26) play West Virginia (31-26) at 4 p.m. Friday and Kansas (32-24) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.The winners of the two pool-play brackets meet in the championship at 1 p.m. Sunday. TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech need to win the title to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament.Frogs face aceTCU is likely to face West Virginia ace and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave (8-1) at 4 p.m. Friday. Musgrave did not pitch in the Mountaineers’ tournament opener against Kansas.The left-hander has a 2.14 ERA in 88 1/3 innings. Batters are hitting .197 against him and have struck out 76 times. He has thrown three complete-game shutouts, including a three-hit, 2-0 victory against TCU on May 11.TCU will counter with left-hander Brandon Finnegan (0-7), who is still looking for his first win despite a 1.90 ERA and 86 strikeouts.
Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs