Baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle is in a situation he has never been before.
The Horned Frogs, for the first time since TCU started keeping records in the 1960s, are 0-6 to start the season.
“My evaluation of the last six games is that last weekend [at Ole Miss] we played really, really good baseball and just had a lot of things go against us,” Schlossnagle said after Sunday’s 7-0 loss to the Cal State Fullerton Titans. “This weekend [against Cal State Fullerton], we played poorly and we ran into a buzz saw.”
Schlossnagle gave credit to the Titans for their efforts throughout the weekend.
“If [Cal State Fullerton’s] pitching holds up, that’s a national championship team,” he said. “No disrespect to anyone left on our schedule, but that’s as good of an offensive team as I think I’ve seen in college baseball in a long, long time.”
There was a clear offensive performance difference between the Titans and Frogs Sunday. TCU had five hits, compared to Cal State Fullerton’s eight, which included a triple. The Titans were able to bring around seven runners, while no Horned Frogs crossed home plate.
Schlossnagle said he is willing to change the lineup until he finds something that works.
“I think if Cody Jones has the at-bats he had batting ninth, if he has those at-bats hitting lead-off, we get what we want,” he said.
Sophomore first baseman Kevin Cron said it comes down to each batter doing his job and winning the next pitch, allowing the next person in the lineup can then do his job.
Schlossnagle said he was most disappointed in the pitching, but he said the team is still confident in its pitchers. He said he has seen moments where the team has risen to his challenge of throwing the most strikes and playing the best defense.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Alex Young got his first collegiate start Sunday and allowed five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. He walked two batters he faced, hit one and struck out one. He also had two wild pitches.
Junior right-hander Nick Frey came in after Young and did not allow a hit. He walked one batter and hit one more.
Schlossnagle said the passed balls and wild pitches concerned him the most.
Cron said he thought the Horned Frog starting rotation was one of the best in the country. He said the batters needed to start trusting one another so the offense can give pitchers confidence.
“They just need to keep throwing strikes and let their defense work, and once everything starts working and we trust each other, then it’ll start to go,” Cron said.
Titan starter Grahamm Wiest went 7.1 innings, allowing four hits and the only walk issued to a Frog, while striking out five TCU batters.
“You combine where we are with where they are and that’s why you get the result you get,” Schlossnagle said. “My money’s still on my team.”
Even though this is the worst start to a season Schlossnagle said he has had, he said he has not lost faith in his team, but the team must perform.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if we stay true to who we are as a program and we play good baseball, then we’re going to go on a run and we’re going to be fine, but you can’t just say that, you have to go make it happen,” he said.
Schlossnagle said he thinks highly of his team, and said his team is competitive. He said the frustrating challenge is that the team is still learning about living up to expectations of the program.
The Horned Frogs will try to regroup as they travel next to Dallas Baptist University to take on the Patriots Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.