Baseball gets ready for new season

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    The TCU men’s baseball team opened its season this week with the start of fall practice.

    The fall is an opportunity for team teaching, evaluation of players in a game-like situation and a chance for the players to get better on individual skills, head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

    “Those are the same goals every year,” he said. “We try to maintain some semblance of health if we can. It doesn’t always work out that way once you get on the field.”

    TCU will play several intrasquad scrimmages including the annual Purple-White series on Oct. 18, 19 and 21. The exhibition games are against Rice and Stephen F. Austin. The Frogs take on Rice Oct. 14 in Round Rock.

    The scrimmages give the players a chance to react to game situations and insert different plays, Schlossnagle said. Exhibition games are an opportunity to see where the team needs to improve, he said.

    Senior infielder Jantzen Witte said the fall games give the team “inexpensive experience” because the games don’t count toward their regular record. 

    “We’re looking to play well and we’re playing some good teams,” Witte said. “We’re just excited about competing.”

    The last time the Frogs took the field, they fell 4-1 to ULCA in the NCAA Super Regional in June. They finished the 2012 season with a 40-22 record.

    Witte said last season was a “roller coaster,” but the team finished strong in the super regional and started to show its potential. 

    They have a lot of returning players and know what they are capable of as a team, Witte said.

    Schlossnagle said even though the Frogs fell short of their goals of reaching the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. and winning a national championship, they found a lot of positives from finishing the season at UCLA.  

    “When you get that close to Omaha, it’s right on the tip of your tongue,” Schlossnagle said. “So you want to do everything you can to put yourself back in that situation where you have a chance to play your way to the College World Series.”