On the seventh day, smiles reappeared at Lupton Stadium, though the work of TCU’s baseball team is hardly finished.
But the Frogs needed a good experience in a nonconference series finale played in a winter chill against Dartmouth a day after their coach gave them a what-fer for a lax effort.
Coach Jim Schlossnagle’s repugnance was likely a catalyst, as were Tyler Alexander and Jeremie Fagnan.
In his fourth start, the freshman Alexander had his best outing of the season, giving up five hits and no walks in seven shutout innings of TCU’s 8-0 victory Sunday and a sweep of Dartmouth (1-5).
The Southlake Carroll product received plenty of run support, including three RBIs from Fagnan, whose two-run home run highlighted the Frogs’ four-run third.
Fagnan, a junior transfer from Midland College who is hitting only .167 on the season, also had a single in two official at-bats, while reaching base all four times he came to the plate.
“I thought it was the best Alexander has pitched,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s gotten better every time he’s gone out.
“Fagnan has been really working hard on his swing, and he saw results from that today.”
Kevin Cron was 2 for 3 with a two-run double in the Horned Frogs’ four-run seventh in which nine hitters came to the plate while putting the game out of reach.
Boomer White also had RBI in extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Alexander struck out a college career-high five batters.
He allowed base runners in the second, third and fifth innings, and issued his only walk in the sixth, but only one reached third.
“I thought I threw well,” said Alexander, who is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA over 28 1/3 innings. “I’ve gotten better with each of my starts. It’s just throwing how I ordinarily throw.”
Brian Howard and Riley Ferrell mopped up with scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
As a staff, the Frogs (12-7) take a 2.11 ERA into their game at Oklahoma on Tuesday.
Fagnan, generally an outfielder, is likely to see more time at first base as the Frogs deal with injuries, including to Garrett Crain, who reinjured a shoulder Saturday.
A left-handed hitter, the Alberta, Canada, native turned on the first pitch he saw from Dartmouth starter Beau Sulser (1-1) in the third and rode the coattails of a stiff north wind to clear the right-center field wall.
Joining him in crossing the plate was White.
“I thought we responded well,” Fagnan said of Schlossnagle’s challenge to the team. “We had a lot of energy in the dugout; we played hard on the field.
“I think he’s pleased with what we did today.”