TCU’s series loss to Oklahoma State over the weekend is “part of life in the Big 12,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
“We play a good schedule, it’s a good conference,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t play well. You’re not going to play well all the time.”
For the Horned Frogs (17-4), it was the first time this season they could say that.
They committed a season-high three errors in Sunday’s 7-2 loss. They had two errors and allowed five walks in Friday’s 7-6 loss in 12 innings, in which closer Riley Ferrell gave up his first extra-base hit, the game-winning home run in the 12th.
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Playing clean baseball helped the Frogs, who host Oklahoma on Tuesday night in a non-conference game, not only survive but thrive against a tough non-conference schedule.
But Schlossnagle noticed how clean baseball was missing for the Frogs the past three games.
“We allowed 26 what we call ‘free 90 feet,’ which is a walk, hit by pitch, passed ball, error or balk,” he said. “When you divide that by four, that’s six runs for free. And five to six times, we made a strikeout when we had a runner on third base with less than two outs. In baseball, you’re going to have that. You just can’t have it happen over a long period of time.”
The season’s opening weeks for TCU included wins against Arizona State, Rice, UCLA, defending college world series champ Vanderbilt and Loyola Marymount.
But defending Big 12 champ Oklahoma State proved every bit as tough as the non-conference opponents.
“Nothing on our schedule the rest of the year is going to be any tougher than the teams we’ve played to this point,” Schlossnagle said. “But they’ll be as tough. We’ve played a lot of close games. When you play a lot of close games, every now and then you’re going to lose a close one. That’s part of life in the Big 12.”
Four Big 12 teams hosted Super Regionals last year, so the conference’s strength is not in doubt.
It is one reason the Horned Frogs are playing Oklahoma on Tuesday in a non-conference meeting.
Last season, the Horned Frogs played Texas Tech in the same kind of arrangement just for a boost in mid-week competition.
But this year may be it for a while.
“We probably won’t do it next year,” Schlossnagle said. “I’ve kind of changed my mind about it.”
Ferrell gave up a home run with a changeup in the 12th-inning at-bat against Oklahoma State’s Dustin Williams, Schlossnagle said.
“I bet he’s thrown less than four or five of those his entire career,” Schlossnagle said. “One bad pitch. Sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap to the hitter.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407
TCU vs. Oklahoma
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lupton Stadium
Tyler Alexander (1-1, 3.48) vs. Jeffrey Curran (0-0, 1.29)