TCU didn’t get to say thanks to its seniors on a sunny afternoon at Lupton Stadium. A rain-free Tuesday evening will have to do.
The Horned Frogs plan to salute Preston Morrison, Keaton Jones, Derek Odell, Trey Teakell, Travis Evans, Cody Jones, Jeremie Fagnan and Garrett Crain for helping contribute to 179 wins, three conference championships, two Super Regional berths and an appearance in the College World Series over the last five years.
The “Group of Eight” still has work to do. Tuesday night against Abilene Christian, they have a chance to complete the most successful home season in 12 years under coach Jim Schlossnagle. A win would make them 27-2 at home, matching the 2014 squad that went 27-8 and the 2007 team that went 27-3 at home for most home victories in a season.
This team might have set the record already — and may yet, considering postseason home games are possible — had it not been for four canceled games at Lupton. A February series against Cal Poly was canceled because of ice, and Sunday’s series finale against Kansas was rained out, also canceling Senior Day activities.
Instead, Senior Night begins at 5:50 p.m., ahead of the 6:30 first pitch against the Wildcats.
Schlossnagle will be glad to see it.
“Not to discount any other class we’ve had, but when you look at these eight guys, there are two sure-fire TCU Hall of Famers in Preston Morrison and Riley Ferrell and probably a third in Keaton Jones,” Schlossnagle said. “And then you’ve got guys like Odell and Teakell and Evans who have all played really prominent roles from the second they were on our campus, and the JUCO transfers that were part of an Omaha team last year and what could possibly be a championship team this year. Yeah, it’s a really special group.”
Teakell, a fifth-year senior, has played for three conference championship teams at TCU and is close to a fourth. The Horned Frogs need one win in a weekend series at Oklahoma this week to clinch the title.
Morrison, Keaton Jones, Odell and Evans are four-year seniors who as true freshmen helped the Horned Frogs win their first road regional, at College Station, in 2012.
Cody Jones has been the starting center fielder since 2013, Crain has been manning second base since last season, and Fagnan has been a part- or full-time starter at first base since last season.
The Horned Frogs missed a chance to get closer to the Big 12 title when Sunday’s game against Kansas was canceled by weather.
But they are close. The Frogs need one win next weekend at Oklahoma to clinch the regular season title. They would lose the title only by being swept, which would give Oklahoma the championship.
Schlossnagle wants the title, but he’d rather have 40 or more wins and a spot in the postseason.
“You’re trying to build wins and build resumes, and a championship is obviously part of that, but we’re trying to win as many games as we can and as many series as we can,” he said. “I’m sure Oklahoma has aspirations, too.”
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407
No. 4 TCU vs. Abilene Christian
6:30 Tuesday, Lupton Stadium
Mitchell Traver (6-2, 2.08) vs Drew Hanson (1-2, 4.46)
Records: TCU 39-9, Abilene Christian 13-34
TCU home records
The Horned Frogs have a chance to match the most home wins in a season under coach Jim Schlossnagle.