TCU set for weekend series at Jacksonville


    Correction: Jantzen Witte is a third baseman. In an earlier version, Witte's position on the team was misstated in the caption. 

    Sometimes, a dose of humor is all that's needed to get results on the field.

    After getting the team's first win of the season, head coach Jim Schlossnagle said a few Will Ferrell and Chris Farley DVDs might have helped in leading to success for the TCU baseball team.

    Schlossnagle said he bought the DVDs for the team to watch on their way to Dallas Baptist University Tuesday night to keep them relaxed.

    He said because his personality is so intense, the challenge is for him to keep his players loose.

    “We prepare enough,” he said. “We were trying to play intense without being tense, so just trying to lighten the mood. And I think we’ll probably go with that motif for a while.”

    The same motivation may be utilized again as the team heads to Jacksonville to take on the Dolphins, Schlossnagle said.

    Despite the strategy for travel entertainment, both the coach and first baseman Kevin Cron said the win against the Dallas Baptist Patriots lifted a weight off the team’s shoulders.

    Cron, who had three RBI in Tuesday’s game, said the team went into the DBU game trying to find a fresh start after being 0-6.

    “It’s nice to get that first win out of the way, but by no means is that going to be our last win,” Cron said.

    Cron said he knows his job batting third in the order is to bring in runs, and he is going to do whatever it takes to get those runs. He said getting that first RBI of the season lessened the pressure on him.

    “Even if it takes just hitting a ground ball to score a run, that’s my job,” he said.

    He said there’s more trust among the hitters, which leads to less pressure on each individual batter, so they are not trying to do too much. He said there is more trust between the hitters and pitchers so the pitchers can focus on their job also.

    “[The pitchers] have to go out and have confidence in the hitters to be able to produce runs for them, so they can pitch with a little more confidence,” he said. “And that if they give up a run it’s not the end of the world.”

    Saturday’s starter, right-hander Preston Morrison, said he is not changing anything going into the weekend series and is keeping his same weekly routine.

    In his last outing, Morrison allowed two unearned runs in the first inning against Cal State Fullerton, but then retired 19 of the next 23 batters he faced. 

    The series will mark the first time Jacksonville and TCU have met in baseball. The Frogs have a 14-6 record against Florida schools and this series will be the fourth time the team has played in Florida under Schlossnagle.

    TCU starters are set to be left-hander Brandon Finnegan Friday night, Morrison Saturday and freshman left-hander Alex Young Sunday.

    Schlossnagle said being on the road helps the team get focused as well.

    “There’s so much on the line all the time,” he said. “(On the road) your only focus is getting ready to play the game and spend time with your teammates.”