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Practices, scrimmages prepare baseball team for upcoming season

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Last season began with astronomical expectations for the TCU baseball team. Coach Jim Schlossnagle’s squad was ranked number one in the nation according to many polls, and a return to Omaha seemed imminent. However, injuries and bad luck plagued the Frogs from the beginning and TCU never quite got on track. Although they won the regular season conference championship and hosted the Fort Worth Regional, they also lost the conference tournament to New Mexico and fell to Dallas Baptist in the regional round.

This season, the Frogs look to get back to their winning ways after failing to live up to last year’s hype. The team’s offseason is coming to an end as the team begins participating in scrimmages and continues practicing.

The offseason saw the team add another coach to the staff in Chuck Jeroloman. Jeroloman was drafted by the Red Sox and spent the last seven years playing professional baseball for various organizations. He joins as volunteer assistant coach.

Since then, the Frogs have begun working towards next season, and official practices started Sept. 18. The team’s first scrimmage, in which Andrew Mitchell  was tagged as the team’s ace, was against the University of Central Arkansas on Oct. 2.

Although the team lost many players to graduation and the draft, Coach Schlossnagle is pleased with the players he has returning.

Schlossnagle said, “[I’m] excited about the guys who decided to return, especially Jason Coats and Kaleb Merck, two guys that could have begun their pro career. In addition, the fact that Kevin Cron, Jerrick Suiter, Derek Odell, Kevin Cornelius and Brandon Finnegan are at TCU now is a great testament to our program and our university.”

Coats and Merck are returning lettermen for the Frogs while the others are recruits that turned down pro contracts to play for the Frogs.Fall practices will be key to our success,” Schlossnagle said of his young team. The team’s fall camp will run through the end of October and will feature several scrimmages as well as 29 practices. The team features only five pitchers that have thrown for TCU before as well as “17 or 18” new faces for the Frogs. Schlossnagle called this one of the younger teams he has coached but said he is excited for what they will do in this upcoming season.

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