No. 1 preseason ranking won’t affect baseball team’s focus

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    TCU baseball earned its first-ever No. 1 preseason ranking by Collegiate Baseball and was also named the 2010 NCAA Team of the Year by FieldTurf.

    Head coach Jim Schlossnagle was also awarded FieldTurf’s Coach of the Year honors, but while Schlossnagle said he believed the accolades are great for the program, he said it means nothing for the team going in to the 2011 season.

    “I think that kind of thing is a great [thing] for the program in general, it’s really a recognition for what’s gone on in the past and the hard work that our assistant coaches have done on putting together on paper what looks like a good team,” Schlossnagle said. “In terms of our particular team, within the walls of our locker room, it means nothing.

    “Last year South Carolina was barely top-25 [preseason], and they won the national championship. It is what it is, it’s nice to be recognized, but it doesn’t dictate the future,” he said.

    Last year the Frogs stayed relatively injury-free and ended up playing their best baseball of the season going into the 2010 NCAA Baseball Tournament. After defeating the University of Texas in the Austin Super Regional, TCU earned its first berth to the College World Series.

    “We want to continue what we’ve done here for seven years and that’s get back to the NCAA tournament,” Schlossnagle said. “I’ve always said the more that you go to the NCAA tournament, the more likely you are to advance.”

    The Frogs are one of 14 teams to appear in the last seven NCAA baseball tournaments, and they have four straight 40-win seasons. While TCU had a school-record 54 wins in 2010, being the preseason No. 1 team won’t change how TCU views itself or its opponents.

    “Our thought process has always been to play the game and be better than we were yesterday,” Schlossnagle said. “A ground ball hit by California State Fullerton, or a ground ball hit by Air Force or a ground ball hit by the [New York] Yankees is still just a ground ball.

    “If you let the outside things affect the process then you’re going to be in a lot trouble. We’re just going to keep that kind of focus, and we’ve been doing that for quite awhile,” he said.

    TCU ranked 18th nationally in attendance in 2010

    While the Frogs can’t boast a No. 1 attendance ranking to go with their No. 1 team ranking, TCU ranked 18th nationally with an average of 3,127 fans during the 2010 season. TCU ranked 21st nationally with a total attendance of 90,687 fans.

    “I think our attendance has steadily improved over the time that I’ve been here,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s great to be working for an administration that wants to grow right along with us.”

    Lupton Stadium adding about 1,000 seats

    Lupton Stadium is undergoing minor renovations that will add about 1,000 more seats to the upper deck. The addition will include more chair back seating and an expanded student section.

    The stadium’s expansion was anticipated during its original construction. Renovations should be completed before the Feb. 18 home opener against Kansas, according to TCU baseball media relations.

    “The success on the field gets better, then you want the program to continue to improve,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ve created some good problems around here in terms of we need more space for our season ticket holders and for our fans.

    “If you compare apples to apples, we’re doing really well.”