TCU

TCU baseball comes home with momentum after sweep at Houston tournament

TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli celebrates a two-run home run against Rice on Saturday night at the Shriners College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston. It was his second home run of the season. He is the Horned Frogs’ leading hitter with a .593 average.
TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli celebrates a two-run home run against Rice on Saturday night at the Shriners College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston. It was his second home run of the season. He is the Horned Frogs’ leading hitter with a .593 average. AP

After watching his team sweep three games at the prestigious Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle could hardly ask for anything more.

“Other than Nolan Brown and Mitchell Traver being healthy,” he said. “That’s really all I ask for right now.”

TCU was declared champion of the event at Minute Maid Park in Houston thanks to a 25-run margin of victory combined against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 25 Rice and No. 9 Houston. The Frogs won the weekend games by scores of 7-1, 10-0 (in seven innings by mercy rule) and 10-1.

It was a lot of fun. Neat to see young guys go out there and compete in that setting.

TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle

“We played well, pitched well, got a lot of timely hits, some big hits, extra-base hits,” Schlossnagle said. “It was a lot of fun. Neat to see young guys go out there and compete in that setting. I didn’t think there was one guy on the field that had that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. They all trusted their routines and were in control of their emotions and competed.”

TCU (6-1) has won six consecutive games since dropping the season opener against Loyola Marymount.

The Frogs hit four home runs in Houston. Dane Steinhagen and Josh Watson each hit the first of their career, and Elliott Barzilli and Luken Baker each hit their second of the season. Watson and second baseman Cam Warner each had five RBIs. Steinhagen also doubled twice.

Brian Howard and Baker each won their starts, and the TCU bullpen allowed only a hit in 8  1/3 innings. Durbin Feltman, Jared Janczak, Ryan Burnett, Brian Triegalff, Preston Guillory and Drew Gooch combined for 10 strikeouts and four walks. Janczak won in relief of Rex Hill on Sunday.

TCU hit .333 and had an 0.72 ERA at the Shriners College Classic, winning three games against three ranked opponents by a combined 27-2.

Those are the Frogs’ most experienced pitchers. Now Schlossnagle wants to get work for others Tuesday night at home against UT Rio Grande Valley (3-5). Freshman left-hander Dalton Horton will make his first college start.

“We have so many young pitchers that we want to get experience,” Schlossnagle said. “There are going to be some midweek games where we throw a bunch of guys for a couple innings apiece and change the look as often as we can until one of them either takes charge and claims one of the starting spots or until Traver gets back, as long as we’re healthy.”

Their momentum is high, but Schlossnagle said doesn’t believe his players, even as inexperienced as some of them are, will get ahead of themselves.

“I don’t sense at all guys thinking they’ve arrived or anything like that,” he said.

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

TCU vs. UT Rio Grande Valley

6:30 p.m. Tuesday

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