TCU rides win streak into key Big 12 series at Kansas

Posted Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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TCU at Kansas

Hoglund Ballpark, Lawrence, Kan.

Friday: LHP Brandon Finnegan (5-2) vs. RHP Jordan Piché (4-3), 6 p.m.

Saturday: RHP Preston Morrison (3-3) vs. RHP Robert Kahana (2-3), 3 p.m.

Sunday: LHP Alex Young (1-2) vs. RHP Frank Duncan (3-1),

1 p.m.

Records: TCU 20-12, 5-4 Big 12; Kansas 21-13, 5-4

TV: ESPN3.com (Webcast)  Radio: KTCU/88.7 FM

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TCU has 15 Big 12 Conference games remaining, beginning Friday night with an important three-game series at Kansas.

The Horned Frogs (20-12, 5-4 Big 12) and Jayhawks (21-13, 5-4) are in a three-way tie for third place in the league with Oklahoma State, behind Texas and Oklahoma.

A series win against KU at Hoglund Ballpark could not only provide some separation from the middle of the pack, but could also put the Frogs in first place, depending on how the Longhorns (26-8, 6-3) and Sooners (23-11, 4-2) do in a head-to-head series in Norman, Okla.

TCU has won a season-high five consecutive games and is starting to show some offensive swagger. There’s a confidence up and down the batting order that hasn’t been on display for the Frogs since the offense exploded at the 2012 NCAA Regional in College Station. In Tuesday’s 7-1 win at Dallas Baptist, the Frogs collected 10 or more hits for the fifth game in a row. It was also their 12th errorless game.

“We always talk about getting on a roll and last year it was so tough to get on a roll; we couldn’t get things clicking at the same time,” third baseman Derek Odell said. “Our pitchers are doing such a great job on the defensive side making it easy for us position players out there and our bats are clicking at the same time.”

The series sweep of West Virginia last week, the club’s first in the league, coupled with nonconference wins against longtime rivals UT Arlington and Dallas Baptist, has TCU’s confidence rising, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

“To come on the road and do that, they should be feeling confident, not overconfident,” Schlossnagle said after TCU swept the season series against DBU for the first time since 2009. “Our challenge is to keep the blinders on and focus on the next game. I know that sounds cliché but that’s truly what we have to do, because as soon as this bunch gets comfortable then they get silly and we play poorly.”

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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