Sports

TCU takes Manhattan in baseball to set up big week

No offense to Manhattan, but it got what you would have expected from TCU this weekend, or at least what you would have expected before the season began.

The Horned Frogs swept the three-game series with an 11-0 win Sunday at Lupton Stadium, rapping 11 hits against the overmatched Jaspers pitchers.

But the way the season has gone offensively for the Frogs, including Game 1 Friday against Manhattan when TCU eked out a 10-inning win on just four hits, the fireworks at the plate the last two days weren't exactly foreshadowed.

"We needed some confidence and a day like today," said TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle, who picked up his 450th career coaching victory Saturday. "It's nice to see us play well when we should play well. We just needed a nine-inning game without every single pitch having so much weight on it. That was the biggest thing from the last two days."

TCU pounded out 29 hits and scored 23 runs the last two games, its biggest two-game output this season.

The Frogs (26-15) host Oklahoma (28-16) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Sooners have beaten the Frogs eight consecutive games dating to 2007. The Sooners' Sunday game with Kansas was rained out, but they scheduled a home game Monday against Mid America.

One of the ancillary rewards of a lopsided win, such as Sunday's when TCU led 9-0 after a five-run third inning, is the option to rest starters.

Schlossnagle was able to sit starter Stefan Crichton after three innings with the big lead, making Crichton available Tuesday against the Sooners. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (2-3) is still the likely starter, Schlossnagle said. Everyday starters such as Josh Elander, Jantzen Witte, Jason Coats and Kyle Von Tungeln were able to rest after coming out in the middle innings.

"We've kind of been off and on this whole season; haven't really come together and found our swings and I feel like we're doing that now," said Von Tungeln, who scored three runs Sunday. "That gives us a ton of confidence going into OU."

Trey Teakell (1-2) pitched four solid innings for the Frogs, holding the Jaspers (20-23) to two hits and no walks, to earn his first win. Tyler Duffie and Justin Scharf each pitched scoreless innings to close it out.

An important week for TCU also sees first-place New Mexico (26-19, 12-3 in the Mountain West) in Fort Worth for a three-game series Friday. The Lobos swept UNLV over the weekend and have a one-game lead on TCU. New Mexico took two of three from the Frogs in March.

"Tuesday night and next weekend is huge for us," said Witte, who had three RBIs, including a two-run single in the third. "Hopefully we can keep this going towards the end of the year like we need to."

Elander hit his sixth home run in the second inning to give TCU a 4-0 lead. Keaton Jones, Zac Jordan and Davy Wright combined for four hits as the bottom of the order continued to increase its productivity. Jones drove in Jordan and Wright on a suicide squeeze bunt in the third. Caleb St. Laurent's first career hit in the seventh scored a run and Manhattan's Dan Feinberg balked in the Frogs' final run.

"We took pregame BP, which we don't normally do on a Sunday," Von Tungeln said. "I felt like our offense was really clicking and everybody was confident up there."

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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