TCU baseball heads to Ole Miss to start the season

    281
    print

    After an off-season with practice, inter-squad games and the annual alumni game, the TCU baseball team will get its season underway Friday night at the University of Mississippi.

    Both programs met last year to open the season in Lupton Stadium, walked away with a win after the standard three-game series was shortened to just two games due to rain. 

    They then met three more times in the postseason during the NCAA College Station Regional, where the Horned Frogs won the last two games against the Rebels to continue to the NCAA Super Regional.

    The weekend series will mark the 14th time TCU and Ole Miss have met in program history. TCU is 8-5 all-time against the Rebels and 6-3 under Schlossnagle.

    Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said there is a lot of familiarity between the TCU and Ole Miss programs. He also said he enjoys starting the season on the road and that it allows the team to focus on just baseball.

    “I love playing here and playing in front of our fans,” he said, “but there’s a part of getting away that first weekend and developing some chemistry and getting that first road trip out of the way.”

    He compared the start of the season to taking a test.

    “We’ve been studying for a while, now we’ve got to take the test and that’ll tell us where we are and what we need to improve on,” Schlossnagle said.

    TCU goes into the game ranked in the top 15 of all major polls, including a No. 12 spot on the Coaches Poll. The Horned Frogs have been picked to finish second in the preseason Big 12 poll and have three pre-season all-Americans: sophomore first baseman Kevin Cron, junior closer Andrew Mitchell and sophomore right-handed pitcher Preston Morrison.

    The Horned Frogs finished last season with a 40-22 record and went 18-6 in the Mountain West Conference. This will be the program’s first year in the Big 12 Conference.

    Ole Miss comes into the game ranked No. 13 in the Baseball America preseason poll and picked to finish fourth in the SEC Western division. Senior closer Brett Huber, who had 10 saves last season, was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Stopper of the Year Watch List. The Rebels finished last season with a 37-26 record and went 14-16 in the SEC.

    The starting pitchers for the Frogs are set to be Brandon Finnegan on Friday, Morrison on Saturday and Stefan Crichton on Sunday.

    Schlossnagle said Morrison and Crichton have remained consistent with what they were doing last year. He said Finnegan has made improvement from where he was last year, even from where he was at the end of the season.

    Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl, a preseason All-American, is set to start Friday for the Rebels. Another junior right-hander Mike Mayers is slated to start Saturday and sophomore right-hander Chris Ellis has been pegged as Sunday’s starter.

    Schlossnagle said the baseball season is like a marathon with highs and lows. The outcome of this series against Ole Miss, he said, does not determine the way the team plays for the rest of the season.

    The first pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST.

     

    Info Box:

    When: Friday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. CST

    Where: Oxford-University Stadium, Oxford, Miss.

    TV: none

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

     

    When: Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m. CST

    Where: Oxford-University Stadium, Oxford, Miss.

    TV: none

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

     

    When: Sunday, Feb. 17 at noon CST

    Where: Oxford-University Stadium, Oxford, Miss.

    TV: none

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

    Gametracker will be available for all three games in the series.