The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, seats were filled by fans, tailgaters were barbecuing on the hill just beyond the left field wall. It was a beautiful sight for baseball fans watching TCU and Dallas Baptist go head-to-head.
But TCU’s defense wasn’t pleasant to watch for head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
“I don’t mind losing [to them],” Schlossnagle said after his team lost to Dallas Baptist, 6-4. “I just hate it when it’s ugly. It’s embarrassing to me.”
The Horned Frogs were carrying an eight-game winning streak into Wednesday night’s game against Dallas Baptist. But the third-largest crowd in the stadium’s history witnessed that streak come to an end.
No. 13 DBU (33-9, 13-5 Missouri Valley) scored six runs on 10 hits in their 6-4 victory over No. 5 TCU (34-9, 10-5 Big 12), but many of those runs were the result TCU’s defensive miscues, which include four errors.
Schlossnagle said his starting pitcher, Mitchell Traver (6-2) pitched well, but his defense was not his best.
“I thought he was good,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought his stuff was good but more goes into pitching than throwing 93 mph with a great breaking ball. You got to hold runners…there’s more that goes into it than that.”
The Frog’s defensive mistakes began in the second inning with runners on second and third. DBU’s Nash Knight hit a high fly ball near the third baseline. TCU third baseman Derek Odell and left fielder Dane Steinhagen were not able call each other off as the ball fell to the ground and scored the runner from third.
In the third inning, the Frogs’ defense faltered again. Odell overthrew the glove of first baseman Elliot Barzilli by a couple feet, after the third baseman had just fielded a routine ground ball hit by DBU’s Daniel Salters. After Salter’s reached first base, he stole second, advanced on a wild pitch by Mitchell Traver, then scored after Justin Wall hit a single to left field.
The Frogs were able to muster up a run in the four inning when Nolan Brown hit his fifth sacrifice fly of the season to bring in Evan Skoug from third base.
But another TCU error, in the fifth inning, brought in a run for the Patriots when TCU second baseman Garret Crain couldn’t glove a weak ground ball.
DBU was able to extend its lead to 6-1 in the seventh inning on another TCU error. Center fielder Cody Jones fumbled a ball in centerfield and could not prevent Camden Duzenack from reaching second base and Drew Turbin from advancing to third base. After Jones’ outfield blunder, Salters doubled down the left field line and scored both runners.
“What’s disappointing… it’s not errors on very tough plays.” Schlossnagle said. “It’s when you got the ball in your hand, just playing catch or throwing a pickoff away or errors in the outfield.
TCU was able to threaten in eighth inning as the first three batters singled. Crain hit a sacrifice fly to score Dane Steinhagen, and then with two outs, Odell singled to score Elliot Barzilli and Nolan Brown.
But the Frogs were not able to complete the comeback in the ninth inning as DBU closer Brandon Koch was able to keep TCU scoreless in the last frame.
“We haven’t been playing great, and we’ve been covering it up with offense,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ve made 10 errors in four games, you’re not going to survive that way.”