After eight games, and collecting his 500th victory along the way, TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle has an idea of what he has in the 2014 Horned Frogs.
A team that hits OK.
A team that is going to pitch pretty well.
And that it could all be different in the next two weeks.
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“The schedule’s getting ready to amp up, and our league is really good,” he said. “Really good. We’ll know more about our club over the course of the next two weeks.”
Over the next two weeks, the Frogs (6-2) play in a tournament in Houston against Sam Houston State, Rice and the hosts; at home against Dallas Baptist and the Big Ten’s Michigan State, then at Rice for a second meeting against the Owls that wraps up the eight-game stretch March 11.
“You’re playing in the Minute Maid tournament, you play Dallas Baptist and you play Michigan State, which may be the best team in the Big Ten, if not one of the top two,” Schlossnagle said. “The next seven games are really going to tell us some things.”
The first eight games also told him some things. The Frogs put together a 1.75 team ERA and a .279 team batting average. Before this week’s 10-2 loss to UT Arlington, the Horned Frogs had given up only 11 runs. But there have been 10 errors in the eight games.
“Going into the season, I was concerned about how we would play defense,” Schlossnagle said. “We just need to make the routine play. We’re not the most athletic team — we just need to make the routine play. We can’t have errors because our range is adequate, but it’s certainly not plus.”
Schlossnagle said he likes the play of his catchers, Kyle Bacak and Dylan Delso, and the pop of the veteran bats. Dylan Fitzgerald, Boomer White and Derek Odell are all slugging better than .500, and Cody Jones has eight stolen bases and 11 runs scored while putting together a .500 on-base percentage.
“We’ve gotten contributions from a lot of different guys on offense,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ve run the bases really well. I think we’re improved. Whether we’re an elite team or not, we’ll see. Our pitching’s going to have to carry us, I think.”
TCU at Minute Maid Tournament
at Minute Maid Park,
• vs. Sam Houston State, 3:35 p.m. Friday
• vs. Rice, 7:05 p.m. Saturday
• vs. Houston, 5:05 p.m. Sunday