No. 1 TCU hosts Texas Southern, Cal Poly


    Last season, the TCU baseball team finished tied for 62nd in the nation with a scoring average of five runs per game.

    Through their first seven games this year, the No. 1-ranked Horned Frogs are 23rd in runs per game with an average of 6.9, according to Baseball News’ Collegiate Baseball poll.

    The Frogs (6-1) will look to continue their hot hitting this week. After taking two games out of three against No. 9 Arizona State last weekend, TCU returns home to face the Texas Southern Tigers on Wednesday at Lupton Stadium.

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    TCU will then begin a three-game series against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Friday.

    The Tigers (4-4) are fresh off a three-game series win over Jackson State.

    They have lost every game after a victory this season, but they have also won after each defeat. Texas Southern’s matchup against TCU was previously scheduled for Tuesday night, but it was re-scheduled for Wednesday due to an ice storm that swept through Fort Worth on Monday morning.

    The Mustangs (1-6) have dropped six of their first seven games this season including two three-game series sweeps by the hands of No. 21 Baylor andGrand Canyon University. Cal Poly’s lone win came against Fresno State on Feb. 17.

    In addition to scoring more runs per game, the Frogs are tallying an average of 10 hits per game, half a point higher than their average last season.

    “I was really pleased with our bats,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said afterTCU’s 4-1 victory over Texas-Arlington. “We hit a ton of balls hard.”

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    Seniors Derek OdellGarrett Crain and Cody Jones are spearheading the charge for the Frogs.

    Odell is hitting .414 this season and is coming off an impressive performance Sunday against Arizona State. He went 3-for-4 with one RBI in TCU’s 3-2 victory over the Sun Devils.

    Crain is hitting .321 and Jones, who knocked in the game-winning run in Sunday’s contest, is perched at the top of the Frogs’ batting order with a .344 average.

    But it’s not just the older players that are hitting well. Freshmen Evan Skougand Connor Wanhanen are also making an impact.

    Skoug hit his first collegiate home run and earned three RBIs in the Frogs’ 16-4 thrashing of Southern Illinois on Feb. 14. Wanhanen tallied four hits and five RBIs in the three-game series against the Salukis.

    The Frogs are seeing the ball well at the plate, but so are their opponents.

    Senior shortstop Robert Garza and junior first baseman Joel Rosario head the Tigers’ offense. The two have combined for four home runs and 13 RBIs this season, and both players are hitting well above .300.

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    Garza is hitting .394, while Rosario’s batting average is just a few point below at .385.

    Sophomore shortstop Peter Van Gansen leads Cal Poly with a .400 batting average and he has tallied 12 hits through the Mustangs’ first seven games. Junior right fielder Zach Zehner has one home run and five RBIs to go along with a .385 average.

    First pitch for Wednesday’s game is at 6:30 p.m., and Friday’s series-opener will also begin at 6:30.