TCU baseball drops fifth straight, loses to Cal State Fullerton 6-2

Schlossnagle says team is trying too hard to win

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TCU sophomore Preston Morrison pitches against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 23. (TCU Photo/Lesley Branch) TCU senior Jantzen Witte passes the ball in hopes of an out against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 23. (TCU Photo/Lesley Branch) TCU sophomore Jerrick Suiter waits to see where the ball will fall before making his run to second base against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 23. (TCU Photo/Lesley Branch) TCU sophomore Kevin Cron catches the ball to get a Cal State Fullerton player out at first base on Saturday, Feb. 23. (TCU Photo/Lesley Branch)

Sometimes, you just can’t squeeze wine from a turnip.

At least, that’s what TCU baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after his team fell to the Cal State Fullerton Titans, 6-2.

Schlossnagle said his players might be trying too hard to find a win.

“There’s a fine line between competing and trying too hard,” he said. “Guys are getting really big with their swings and Cron struck out chasing high in the zone. He never does that.”

Schlossnagle said the play he’s seeing from his team is an indication of players trying to “carry the team themselves” and said his team needs to find a way to be competitive while letting the game play out for them.

The game started out shaky for the Frogs, with Cron bobbling a Richy Pedroza ground ball. After a walk to Carlos Lopez and a 5-4-3 double play from the bat of Matt Chapman, Preston Morrison began to struggled to find consistency for the inning.

He hit Clay Williamson with a pitch and allowed a RBI single to the shortstop by Michael Lorenzen, giving Cal State Fullerton a 1-0 lead.

After hitting Anthony Hutting to load the bases, Morrison walked Jake Jefferies, allowing the second unearned run of the day as the Titans went up 2-0. Keegan Dale struck out to end the inning.

The strikeout seemed to mark a stride for Morrison, who then retired 19 of the final 23 batters he faced.

The strikeout also started a dry spell offensively for both the Titans and the Horned Frogs.

It took 23 at-bats from both teams before another batter reached base. Carlos Lopez hit single to left field in the top of the fifth, but the Titans couldn’t chain together any other hits.

Suiter broke up Justin Garza’s no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth with a single down left field line. It would be TCU’s only hit until the bottom of the 8th.

The top of the 8th was where the Titans broke the game open. After singles from Chapman, Williamson and Hutting, Jake Jefferies hit a grand slam to right field, giving Cal State Fullerton a 6-0 lead.

The Frogs answered back in the bottom of the 8th, after singles from Brett Johnson and Paul Hendrix set the offense in motion. A passed ball moved the runners and set up a RBI single from Keaton Jones. Axel Johnson followed with a pinch hit single, scoring Hendrix and making the score 6-2 Cal State Fullerton.

Derek Odell singled for TCU to left-center and advanced to second, but no offense could be produced in the bottom of the 9th as the Frogs lost, 6-2.

The team is 0-5 to start the season for the first time in more than 30 years.

Schlossnagle will send out freshman left-hander Alex Young to pitch Sunday to try to avoid the first-ever back to back loss sweeps in the Schlossnagle era.

W: Justin Garza [7.1 innings, 5 hits allowed, 2 runs allowed, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts]
L: Preston Morrison [7 innings, 4 hits allowed, 3 runs allowed, 2 walks, 3 HBP, 8 strikeouts]
S: J.D. Davis (1)

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