TCU offense has been building on momentum from Coach Mo

Posted Wednesday, May. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Fort Worth Regional

(at Lupton Stadium)

No. 2 Dallas Baptist vs. No. 3 Sam Houston State, 2:30 p.m. Friday

No. 1 TCU vs. No. 4 Siena, 7 p.m. Friday

TV: ESPN3 (online); Radio: KTCU/88.7 FM (TCU game only)

Ticket information

All-session tickets can be purchased at 8 a.m. Thursday at, by calling 817-257-3764 or at the TCU ticket office. All-session tickets are $60 for adults and $45 for kids ages 3-17.

At 8 a.m. Friday, single-game tickets will be available for $20 (adult) and $15 (children).

Each night at 10 p.m., beginning Friday, fans can purchase tickets for the next day’s games at

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The first time associate head coach Bill Mosiello met with TCU baseball players, he wrote in big letters on a chalk board: “competitiveness.”

It was a non-negotiable tenet of Mosiello’s hitting philosophy, one that had a history of success at the college and pro levels.

Mosiello, who has had a long career as a minor-league manager and college coach, was a well-known hitting instructor with an established record working with young pros such as Mike Trout, Todd Helton and Robinson Cano as they worked their way to the major leagues.

But the resuscitation job necessary for the Horned Frogs to turn around their offense from 2013 seemed like a multiyear process when Mosiello was hired last summer.

But Coach Mo, as he’s called, was convinced from watching a little bit of tape and following the players’ summer league seasons that he was dealing with good hitters who only needed some direction.

His influence on the team’s offense has been striking. The Horned Frogs (42-15), who open the Fort Worth Regional against Siena (26-31) at 7 p.m. Friday at Lupton Stadium, have improved their team batting average by 41 points to .287 from a year ago.

TCU led the Big 12 in league-only games with a .291 average. A year ago, the team finished seventh of nine teams with a .255 average in Big 12 games.

“You hope there’s going to be some miraculous turnaround, but we all know it’s more about the players than the coaches,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He and [volunteer assistant coach] Zach [Etheredge] have brought a mentality to our offense, which is the No. 1 thing we lacked. That did not come easy. It didn’t even show itself until halfway through the season to be honest with you. They have bought in what they have to be as an offense and who they have to be individually, and Coach Mo has been a part of helping create that and define it.”

Mosiello instilled in the TCU hitters the idea that each batter affects others in the lineup and that being selective and making a pitcher work can pay dividends later in a game. For instance, a hitter fouling off pitches, working a full count and forcing a nine- or 10-pitch at-bat can be a positive when that pitcher is worn down a few innings later.

“A lot of games, we’re not on the board for five innings, but we’re wearing him out. And then one inning, we’re boom, boom, boom — and it’s like we did get to him,” Mosiello said. “It’s happened in a lot of games. That’s something we’re proud of.”

Mosiello’s approach isn’t unlike what Schlossnagle has been using and teaching for 11 years at TCU. But Mosiello’s presence added another stern, no-nonsense voice to the scene.

“For the most part during my time here, I’ve always had to be the bad guy,” Schlossnagle said. “I’ve had assistant coaches who are pretty easygoing, and that’s fine, you definitely need that. You need balance on the staff. But it’s also nice to have somebody on the staff that isn’t afraid to hold somebody accountable at the same level I want them held accountable. So that’s allowed me to sometimes be the guy who can pat somebody on the back or be a little more quiet in practice than being the voice that everybody hears.”

TCU has improved drastically in almost every offensive category from last year with nearly the exact same players in the lineup.

One area the Frogs have excelled in is two-strike hitting, which Baylor coach Steve Smith pointed out last week at the Big 12 tournament.

“It’s the idea of competing. No matter who the pitcher is, he’s not going to get me out,” said third baseman Derek Odell of Mosiello’s philosophy. “I’m going to run the count; I’m going to run the at-bat. I strive to have 10-pitch at-bats just to wear down the pitcher.”

Mosiello insists the players deserve the credit, not him. And the work that Etheredge puts in with the hitters has been invaluable, Mosiello said, echoing Schlossnagle.

“The players have tremendous trust in him, and he throws a million pitches in batting practice,” he said. “He’s an unsung hero for our guys. The players really respect him and love what he does for the team.”

The offense didn’t exactly jump out of the gate, Mosiello noted, and at times he was questioning his methods. But Schlossnagle, who acknowledged it was a slow process this season, reassured Mosiello at the time with statistical proof showing the team’s improvement.

“I looked at that and said, ‘Wow, we are way better,’ ” Mosiello said. “I’m sure glad I wasn’t around last year.”

The players, even the most stubborn ones, eventually completely bought in, and the offense continued to improve as the Frogs won 27 of their last 30 games.

“He is the definition of a competitor,” Odell said. “He’s not wrong, and even if he is, he’s going to convince you that he’s not. And you can’t beat him in anything because he just won’t let you. That’s the kind of mentality that he brings to all of us — you’re never going to give in to a pitcher; never give a pitcher any credit. He’s been around the game with big names for so long. It’s huge. We all want to be who he’s coached, and he’s coached some of the greatest. We believe him because he’s done it.”

The Coach Mo factor

Associate head coach Bill Mosiello was hired last summer to help turn around the offense. How the offense compares to the 2013 team, which finished 29-28 and missed the postseason:

Category 2013 (57 games) 2014 (57 games)
Extra-base hits98113
Sacrifice (fly/bunts combined)7373
Stolen bases-Caught stealing38-5378-114

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
Chicago «109Final | Box
Golden State 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-BA, SPSO
New Orleans 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-NO, SPSO
Milwaukee 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Dallas 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: FSN-SW, TSN2
LA Clippers 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Orlando 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: FSN-FL, FSN-IN
New York 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: MSG, FSN-OK
Sacramento 11/28 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: CSN-CA, FSN-SW
Phoenix 11/28 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: FSN-AZ, Altitude
Memphis 11/28 10:00 PM ET
Portland TV: SPSO, CSN-NW
Minnesota 11/28 10:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Chicago17Final | Box
Detroit «34Gridiron Replay
Philadelphia «33Final | Box
Dallas10Gridiron Replay
Seattle «19Final | Box
San Francisco3Gridiron Replay
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Miami 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
NY Rangers «3Final | Box
Chicago32nd Prd 9:00 | Box
NY Islanders01st Prd 15:09 | Box
Washington0TV: MSG, CSN-DC
Winnipeg 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports 2, TSN3, NESN
Montreal 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: RDS, MSG-BUF
Detroit 11/28 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-DET, MSG+
Carolina 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Vancouver 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Columbus TV: SN-PAC, FSN-OH
Ottawa 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: RDS2, TSN5, FSN-FL
Edmonton 11/28 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: SN-W, FSN-MW
Minnesota 11/28 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FSN-N+, FSN-SW+
Full Scoreboard