CWS notes: TCU changes batting order for first time since April

Posted Thursday, Jun. 19, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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For the first time since April 29, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle changed his lineup.

Boomer White, who has batted in the No. 3 hole all season, moved down to the No. 6 spot for the Horned Frogs’ elimination game Thursday night against Mississippi.

White has batted third in 50 games this season and had not batted deeper than the fifth spot until Thursday.

For much of the year, White has led the team in hitting, but he has struggled at the College World Series. He was batting .111 (1 for 9) in Omaha.

White’s not the only TCU hitter struggling. Derek Odell was hitless in nine at-bats entering Thursday’s game. Odell remained second in the order, but Schlossnagle said that would have changed had Ole Miss been starting a left-handed pitcher.

“I wanted to take some pressure off Boomer,” Schlossnagle said. “I think it still gives some versatility.”

It worked for White. He singled and doubled in a run in his first two at-bats Thursday.

The Frogs had used the same lineup and batting order for the previous 22 games while going 18-4.

The change moves Kevin Cron up a spot to third. Jerrick Suiter, who had been hitting sixth, moved up to the cleanup spot, followed by Garrett Crain and White.

Dylan Fitzgerald, Keaton Jones and Kyle Bacak remained in the Nos. 7-9 spots. Bacak leads the Frogs with a .429 average in CWS play, and Jones is second at .286.

Schlossnagle said he chose to keep them at bottom of the lineup so the players would continue to see the same type of pitches.

Tough ending

TCU left-handed freshman Tyler Alexander was on such a roll during the end of the regular season that he was making a claim as the Frogs’ best pitcher. He threw consecutive complete games in the Big 12 tournament and Fort Worth Regional before struggling in starts in the super regional and CWS.

He allowed three runs on six hits in just three innings against Pepperdine and came out after allowing three runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings Thursday against Ole Miss. Alexander was 10-3 with a 2.16 ERA entering Thursday.

Well-known foe

TCU and Ole Miss have played eight times since the 2012 season. The Frogs are 3-5 against the Rebels, which includes being swept in a three-game series at Mississippi in the 2013 season-opening series.

In 2012, the Rebels opened the season at TCU and split two games. The third game was rained out. Later that season, TCU met Ole Miss again at the College Station Regional. The Frogs lost the opener 6-2 before winning four in a row, including the last two against Ole Miss to advance to the super regionals.

Key stat

2,539 Pitches thrown in the CWS before Texas’ C.J. Hinojosa hit the first home run.

Quotable

“Four players fainted. I had a mild heart attack. I put a long distance call in to get Cinco de Mayo recognized as a national day in honor of him.” — Texas coach Augie Garrido on the response to the first home run hit in the CWS

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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