Three days after the Horned Frogs were able to find little consistency on the mound in Tuesday’s loss to Dallas Baptist, TCU will kick off a weekend series against Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. today in a game that has all the makings of a classic pitcher duel.Both teams will be starting pitchers who have already made an impact this season; TCU will be using sophomore Jake Arrieta (3-0, 1.96 ERA) against FAU ace Mickey Storey (2-1, 2.59 ERA).
Despite the team’s use of seven pitchers Tuesday, head coach Jim Schlossnagle said, he is comfortable with not only Arrieta’s ability, but also the entire staff’s abilities.
“We’re confident in all our pitchers,” Schlossnagle said. “(Arrieta’s) doing a great job to this point. This will probably be the best club besides Houston he’s pitched against, so he’ll have to be ready to meet that challenge.”
Arrieta said he’s pleased with his performance to date but is aware of the Owls’ No. 1 pitcher he will have to face.
“I’m pretty confident,” Arrieta said. “I’m really happy with how I’ve been throwing, but I need to keep improving. Florida Atlantic is a very good team; they’re throwing their best pitcher against us Friday, so it’s going to be a good game from beginning to finish.”
Although the Horned Frogs committed five errors earlier in the week, Schlossnagle said, dwelling on the past can be more harmful than beneficial.
“I think that was just a bad night,” Schlossnagle said. “We certainly spent some time working on it, but we work on it every day. You are not going to have perfect days … If you start harping on them too much, it becomes a mental thing that’s really hard to overcome.”
One player the Frogs will have to watch out for is FAU leadoff hitter Ovy Ramirez, who currently leads the club with a .395 batting average and is one behind the team leader in RBIs (9).
Arrieta said containing a hitter like Ramirez is key to a pitcher’s success.
“With a leadoff hitter, I just always try and throw strikes,” Arrieta said. “I try and not let the leadoff hitter on base.