Baseball prepares for home opener against Cal State Fullerton

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    Baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle eyes each fly ball on a breezy Thursday afternoon as he watches each warm up at-bat before practice officially starts.

    “We’ve had a good week of practice,” he said. “We’ll see how resilient we are to getting beat down like that.”

    That "beatdown" Schlossnagle refers to is the team's opening weekend last week, where the Frogs went 0-3 against Ole Miss. Schlossnagle said that was the first time a team has been swept under his coaching since against Wichita State in 2008.

    Schlossnagle said both team’s statistics from the weekend were even besides strikeouts and walks, where the Frogs had the upper hand. With that, he thought the team would be coming into the home opener with at least one win.

    “That’s not the start you want,” he said, “and everybody’s just looking for that first W that can give everybody some confidence and feel good about yourself again.”

    Friday marks No. 20 TCU’s first game in Lupton Stadium as a Big 12 Conference member. No. 19 Cal State Fullerton comes to Fort Worth with a 5-0 record since Feb. 15. The Frogs have a 6-4 record in home openers at Lupton Stadium.

    This will mark the seventh time the two teams have met, with the most recent just last season. Cal State Fullerton holds a 12-7 record overall and have won the past two series. Friday’s game starts the Titans’ third trip to Fort Worth.

    A familiar face to the Fullerton squad will be in TCU's dugout this year. Assistant coach Kirk Saarloos came to TCU this year from Cal State Fullerton after two years of coaching in California.

    The Ole Miss series saw some new players make their college debut for the Frogs. Boomer White, Travis Hennessey and Kevin Daniels collected their first career hits as pinch hitters over the series.

    Third baseman Jantzen Witte tallied his 200th career hit Sunday at Ole Miss. He had the first homerun of the season with his solo shot in Sunday’s game.

    Left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan is scheduled to start Friday night for the Frogs against Titans freshman right-hander Thomas Eshelman. Right-hander Preston Morrison is set to take on another freshman right-hander in Justin Garza. 

    As of Thursday afternoon, Schlossnagle did not reveal who Sunday’s starting pitcher would be for the Frogs. Whoever starts on the mound will see the Titan’s redshirt freshman right-hander Grahamm Wiest.

    Another change to watch for in Friday’s game is sophomore Jerrick Suiter starting in left field. After starting in all three Ole Miss games as the designated hitter, this change will free up the designated hitter position.

    Friday’s game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. in Lupton Stadium. Lone Star Fridays, the pre-game tailgate, is scheduled to take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. behind the stadium with live music and food from Carino’s Italian Grill.

    Info Box:

    When: Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. CST

    Where: Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth

    TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

     

    When: Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. CST

    Where: Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth

    TV: FOX College Sports

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

     

    When: Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. CST

    Where: Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth

    TV: none

    Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision

     

    Gametracker will be available for all games in the series.