TCU

TCU still close to Boomer White, but on guard for his A&M bat

Texas A&M’s Boomer White watches the flight of a home run against Mississippi State in a May 20 game in College Station. The former TCU player leads the Aggies with a .398 average and is slugging .533 with 18 doubles, five home runs and 46 RBIs. He has struck out only 14 times in 246 at-bats.
Texas A&M’s Boomer White watches the flight of a home run against Mississippi State in a May 20 game in College Station. The former TCU player leads the Aggies with a .398 average and is slugging .533 with 18 doubles, five home runs and 46 RBIs. He has struck out only 14 times in 246 at-bats. AP

There aren’t many players left at TCU who called Boomer White a teammate.

But they remain tight. Their former teammate from two years ago still fills them in on what’s going on in College Station, where nobody’s forgotten the result of last year’s Super Regional series between the Horned Frogs and Aggies.

“He told me, the first meeting they had, they actually put up a picture of us dog-piling outside their locker room,” TCU pitcher Brian Trieglaff said. “So every day, they had to see us dog-piling before they walked in the locker room.”

The dogpile came at A&M’s expense last year. TCU won the best-of-three series with a 16-inning Game 3 victory to advance to the College World Series.

White didn’t play in that series, sitting out a transfer year after leaving TCU. But he knew what A&M missed out on. In 2014, he led the Frogs in RBIs as TCU advanced to the College World Series. He drove in the go-ahead run in one victory in Omaha, Neb.

But he’s all Aggie now, leading his new team with a .398 batting average. He hit a home run in his first A&M at-bat. His former TCU teammates know what to expect Friday when they meet him on the diamond at 8 p.m. at A&M’s Blue Bell Park.

“Really competitive — takes everything really seriously, whether it’s rock-paper-scissors or if we’re golfing,” Trieglaff said. “He wants to win.”

White played left field two seasons for TCU. He said in a Star-Telegram interview in 2014 that he just wanted to be at A&M more than TCU.

“Boomer left here on great terms,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle told reporters Tuesday at Lupton Stadium. “It certainly was disappointing because he’s an outstanding player, and he’s got a great family. He did everything right here. He had something that he felt like in his heart he wanted to do. He handled it 100 percent the right way. So we’ve rooted for Boomer and stayed in contact with him.”

Schlossnagle does not wonder, though, what the already hard-hitting TCU lineup would look like with White’s bat somewhere in the middle.

“If Boomer was still here, then we wouldn’t have some guys on our team that we have recruited to play some of the positions that he played,” he said.

Only Trieglaff, Mitchell Traver, Brian Howard, Ryan Burnett and Michael Landestoy remain from 2014, White’s last year at TCU. Traver said he, White, Trieglaff and former TCU closer Riley Ferrell played on the same Houston area high school select team.

“He’s a good kid,” Traver said. “He works hard. I’m glad that he’s doing well. Obviously, when you’re between the lines, we both have a job to do. But afterward, it’ll be cool catching up with him.”

So the personal connections are few these days.

“We play golf every once in a while. We text a lot, Snapchat — all that stuff,” Howard said. “But as far as all that goes, it’s just a third baseman, and we’re excited to get after it and play. All that stuff about A&M and Boomer is not really going to affect us the way that it’s going to be perceived outside of this. It’s not as major of a storyline to us as it is to everyone else.”

The relationship might be warm, but the Frogs will remain wary.

“He’s a great player,” Schlossnagle said. “We have to make good pitches or he’ll hurt you.”

But that’s life in baseball, Traver said.

“Whether it’s here or in pro ball or whatever, you’re going to play against your friends sometimes,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s nothing personal. You’re trying to win pitches. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. But I look forward to it.”

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

Super Regional

TCU vs. Texas A&M

(best of three)

8 p.m. Friday, ESPN2

8 p.m. Saturday, ESPN

8 p.m. Sunday, ESPN2

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