Improving defense necessary for team success, coach says

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    After its 2-1 series with the Wright State Raiders over the weekend, the Horned Frogs (6-4) are aiming to beat the Dallas Baptist Patriots (7-3) in a home game Tuesday.TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said that in order to win, the team needs to make some improvements.

    “This weekend was a struggle for us,” Schlossnagle said. “We were very fortunate to win two games because we didn’t really play that well.”

    He said the Frogs will need to be sure to make advancements in their defense. The Frogs had no errors in their final game of the weekend series – the first time this has happened all season.

    “We need to continue to play better defense,” Schlossnagle said. “We didn’t make any errors in today’s game, and that made a big difference.”

    The Patriots have a strong player in infielder Cody Montgomery, who already has 12 hits, 11 runs, 13 RBIs, three home runs and averages .308 for the 2006 season.

    “Cody Montgomery is outstanding for them,” Schlossnagle said.

    TCU junior pitcher Brad Furnish, who is 1-0 and has two saves for the 2006 season, said that although DBU is talented, the team can be beat.

    “They’re usually a pretty good team,” Furnish said, “but it’s baseball. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”

    Like Schlossnagle, Furnish said, he thinks the Frogs need to focus on their defense if they want a victory over the Patriots.

    “We’ve had some trouble as a whole playing defense,” Furnish said. “But overall, if we compete like we did, there’s not much improvement we need.”

    Furnish also said the Patriots have shown strong signs on the mound, as DBU pitcher Rodney Brantley threw a no-hitter against the University of Texas at Arlington Saturday at the Midland Collegiate Classic at Citibank Ballpark in Midland. Brantley is 3-0 for the season, has pitched 21 innings and has an ERA of 0.43.

    Furnish said as long as the Frogs keep their focus and play the game their way, they are likely to have greater success.

    “If we go out and compete and play the way we’ve been playing, we’re going to make it pretty easy,” he said. “The improvements will come.”

    The Horned Frogs take to the field Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.

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