I’ve been writing sports for a pretty long time now, or at least as much as my age allows. I’ve done all sorts of teams with infinitely varied types of leaders that enjoy countless degrees of success. Not to sound jaded, but I’ve pretty much heard it all before.So when TCU’s head baseball coach, Jim Scholssnagle, told me on Feb. 28 that “we have a team full of good players that’s not a very good baseball team right now,” I have to admit that I was skeptical. You know how many times I’ve heard that? I recognized that sinking feeling in my stomach, the sensation that is meant to warn sport reporters that they are in danger of going down with the rest of the crew.
That day, the Horned Frogs were fresh off a loss to Dallas Baptist, and the team that was once ranked in the preseason’s top 25 was mailing it in with a 6-5 record.
And now, here we are, more than one month later, and this ship is still afloat.
After a brief stint in the below-.500 club, Schlossnagle’s team is finally beginning to resemble the group that many suspected would not only dominate the Mountain West Conference but possibly host a post-season regional. The outfield that spent the first month or so dropping balls all of a sudden looks stalwart, and the lack of timely hitting that typified so many of the team’s early games is rapidly becoming a problem of the past – especially after the team scored 59 runs in its last five games.
So where do we point the finger for the team’s turnaround? The steady leadership of starting pitchers like sophomores Jake Arrieta and Sam Demel and junior Brad Furnish? The offensive emergence of junior Chad Huffman, who has been a huge boost after his return from injury? Or maybe it was the savage dismantling of Baylor on March 21, when the Frogs dropped 12 runs on the Bears – in only the first inning.
Who knows? At this point, who cares? The team has finally posted a strong winning record (19-14) and is on a five-game winning streak. They’re starting up conference play against teams they should beat.
What more could we possibly ask for?
Sports editor Travis Stewart is a junior broadcast journalism major from Sugar Land.