No. 2 TCU baseball set to take on Big 12 rival Kansas State

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    The No. 2 TCU baseball team will continue a tough stretch of its schedule on Friday when the team heads up to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on Kansas State for a three-game series.

    TCU (25-6, 6-3 in Big 12) played five straight road games before heading back home to Lupton Stadium on Tuesday to play Dallas Baptist. The Frogs beat DBU that night 6-2 behind three DBU errors and TCU starter Tyler Alexander’s strong eight innings of work.

    The DBU game was the sixth game in eight nights for the Frogs. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after the DBU game that the team “just needs rest” to be prepared for this weekend after all of their traveling.

    Kansas State (14-17, 2-7 in Big 12) is also coming off of a tough stretch with eight losses in their last 11 games. They have lost three straight series: to Texas, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. They also lost to Nebraska on Tuesday night 5-4 in 10 innings before beating Nebraska-Omaha Wednesday night 10-2.

    Schlossnagle said the team’s preparation for this series doesn’t change based on their record because of their ballpark and the fact that they are in the Big 12.

    “We know how capable they are,” Schlossnagle said. “Anytime you go there, it’s a different atmosphere. The turf is really fast and the wind blows out, so it’s built for offense and we’re a club that’s built for our own environment.”

    “In this conference, if you don’t play well then you’re going to lose, and we’re planning on playing well.”

    TCU is 4-2 against Kansas State since joining the Big 12. Kansas State took two out of three against TCU in the 2012-2013 season. The Frogs swept the Wildcats in their series last season.

    TCU senior center fielder Cody Jones has been on a tear all year at the plate. He leads the team in at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, walks, and slugging percentage and is second on the team in batting average behind freshman outfielder Connor Wanhanen.

    Kansas State senior first baseman Shane Conlon has been the Wildcats’ best player all year, leading the team in at-bats, hits, and doubles. He is also tied for the team lead in runs with 23 and home runs with two.

    The projected starters for TCU this weekend are sophomore righty Mitchell Traver (5-0), who has a 0.99 ERA, senior righty Preston Morrison (6-1), who leads the team in innings pitched with 49.2, and junior lefty Alex Young (6-1), who leads the team in strikeouts with 45.

    For Kansas State, the projected starters have not been named yet. The three pitchers who have had the most starts are sophomore righties Nate Griep (3-1) and Colton Kalmus (0-2), and junior righty Corey Fischer (3-3).

    First pitches for the weekend series are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday. You can hear them all live from Manhattan on KTCU 88.7 FM.