TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle knew what he’d been seeing lately. His team was getting away with things.
Wednesday at Dallas Baptist, it didn’t. The fifth-ranked Horned Frogs committed a season-high four errors, allowed three stolen bases, gave up a base on a mental mistake and generally annoyed Schlossnagle in a 6-4 loss to the No. 16 Patriots.
“I told you after the game Sunday we hadn’t been playing great,” Schlossnagle said, remembering his remarks after the series sweep of Texas last weekend. “We’d been covering it up with offense. We almost did it again tonight. That’s four straight games. We’ve made 10 errors in four games. You’re not going to survive that way.”
It began early for the Horned Frogs (34-9), who had an eight-game winning streak snapped.
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In the second, with a runner at second and one out, shortstop Keaton Jones fielded a ball deep in the hole and threw late to first instead of holding it. Daniel Sweet took third on the throw and scored on a pop-up to shallow left that fell between three players.
The extra 90 feet was valuable for DBU, and so was the unmade out. With two outs, No. 9 hitter Nash Knight chopped a ball over first for another run.
In the third inning, an error, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a single led to another run.
In the fifth, Garrett Crain’s error at second base kept him from making a play at the plate, despite playing in, and it was 4-0.
In the seventh, after TCU had cut the lead to 4-2, Cody Jones’ error on a routine single to center field put runners at second and third instead of on the corners. When Daniel Salters doubled, both runners scored, making it 6-2 instead of 5-2.
“They took advantage with the bloop hit to left and the chopper over first base, but when you set the table, that’s what you leave yourself vulnerable to,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ve scored runs like that when the other team screwed up.”
TCU starter Mitchell Traver (6-2) gave up four runs, but only two were earned. He struck out seven and walked none in what Schlossnagle called “a huge step” for the sophomore right-hander.
“Definitely a lot better than what he has been the last couple starts,” Schlossnagle said. “That was a good team.”
Dallas Baptist (33-9), ranked No. 1 in RPI, used four pitchers to earn a split of a two-game series after losing 6-2 in Fort Worth on April 7. Brandon Koch got his 11th save by retiring Evan Skoug on a ground ball with the bases loaded in the eighth and striking out Elliott Barzilli as the tying run in the ninth.
“DBU’s got a great club. That’s a super regional/Omaha-type team, and so are we,” Schlossnagle said. “We split a series with them.”
In the big picture, that’s no problem. Both teams are in good shape for postseason — contenders for national seeds. But the small picture bothered Schlossnagle.
“I hate to lose, but I could really care less about the loss,” he said. “I care a lot more about a veteran team making 10 errors in four games.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407