TCU heads back on the road for a three-game series at Kansas State this weekend, part of a swing of eight of nine away from home as the baseball season rolls past the midpoint.
There are potential pitfalls.
First, Kansas State (14-17, 2-7) is in eighth place in the Big 12, while TCU (25-6, 6-3) holds a share of second.
Second, the Wildcats’ ballpark in Manhattan can be unpredictable.
“Any time you go there, it’s such a different atmosphere,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “The turf is really fast, and the wind blows out. It’s built for offense, and we’re a club normally built for our environment.”
TCU has been playing like it’s built — with pitching and defense. The Horned Frogs twice surrendered a run or fewer in winning a three-game series at Texas Tech last weekend, and they held Abilene Christian to three runs and Dallas Baptist to two runs this week.
They count on a back end of the bullpen that has helped them go 21-0 in games when they lead after six innings.
And they have been error-free 15 times.
Schlossnagle said it will take more of the same to have success at K-State.
“In this conference, which in my opinion is as good as any conference in the country, if you don’t play well, you’re going to lose,” Schlossnagle said. “We’re planning on playing well.”
K-State had lost five of six before a Tuesday victory against Nebraska-Omaha. But the Wildcats are one of only three teams to defeat conference leader Oklahoma State in the past four weeks.
“We know how capable they are,” Schlossnagle said.
The Horned Frogs return to Texas after the series, but not yet home. They play at UT Arlington on Tuesday before starting a three-game weekend series at Lupton Stadium against Santa Clara.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760
TCU at Kansas State
6:30 p.m. Friday: Mitchell Traver (5-0, 0.99) vs. Colton Kalmus (0-2, 3.89)
2 p.m. Saturday: Preston Morrison (6-1, 2.36) vs. Brandon Courville (0-2, 5.74)
Noon Sunday: Alex Young (6-1, 1.03) vs. Nate Griep (3-1, 2.42)