No. 8 TCU hits the road for Lubbock to take on Raiders this weekend

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    Riding a three-game losing streak, No. 8 TCU (4-4) will hit the road for the second time this season for a three-game series in Lubbock against Texas Tech.

    TCU is 3-1 against Big 12 Conference competition so far this season, taking two of three against Kansas in the season series opener and a 2-0 shutout of Baylor on Feb. 22 in Waco. The Red Raiders (8-2) are hitting .347 and averaging 7.9 runs per game, led by Red Raiders’ junior infielder Kelby Tomlinson.

    The last time TCU came off three straight losses was in March 2008, when the Frogs were swept by Wichita State. Junior shortstop Taylor Featherston said it was surprising but that there’s still plenty of baseball left.

    “That’s eight games in but nothing to freak out about,” Featherston said. “We have to get things clicking and it will take time. Baseball is a weird game with new lineups and guys trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s been a tough week, but I’m still confident in our guys and we’ll get better.”

    Head coach Jim Schlossnagle agreed after a 4-3 loss to Dallas Baptist on Tuesday that TCU hadn’t been getting any easy game so far this season but that the Frogs wouldn’t see better results unless the team changed how it played.

    TCU has blown its last three games in the ninth inning. Schlossnagle said his team hadn’t bunted consistently, hadn’t pulled the ball and had committed bad errors with a season-high four errors in Tuesday’s loss.

    “This is not anybody other than us,” Schlossnagle said. “Until we decide to play different, it won’t get any better. We don’t do ourselves favors by throwing the ball around the field or [not] catching the ball in the outfield. We have to find a way to start our season over.”

    Schlossnagle said the new NCAA regulation bats, which are similar to wood bats, and the new pitching timer, which was instituted by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, were not the causes of the Frogs’ rough stretch, Schlossnagle said.

    “I don’t think the bats are in our heads,” Schlossnagle said. “They’re better than wood and everyone’s swinging the same bats. It is what it is, and if we want to achieve what we would like, we need to beat good pitchers.”

    Yet TCU has had some batters swinging for average. Redshirt sophomore Jantzen Witte is batting .367 and junior Brance Rivera is batting .419. TCU Athlete of the Week Kyle Winkler said what the team is doing now isn’t working and that it will learn from that. The junior right-handed pitcher also said the team has been giving up plays that it shouldn’t.

    “We’ll have to get better and stop regressing,” Winkler said. “Whether it’s a change in senior year or us in general, we have to get better and that’s really it.”

    No. 8 TCU at Texas Tech

    Game 1

    When: 5:30 p.m. Friday

    Where: Dan Law Field 8212; Lubbock

    Probable starters: Kyle Winkler (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Daniel Coulombe (0-1, 3.00 ERA)

    Game 2

    When: 5 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Dan Law Field 8212; Lubbock

    Probable starters: Steven Maxwell (0-0, 2.77 ERA) vs. Robbie Kilcrease (2-0, 2.57 ERA)

    Game 3

    When: 1 p.m. Sunday

    Where: Dan Law Field 8212; Lubbock

    Probable starters: Matt Purke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA

    Radio: 88.7-FM KTCU

    Follow GameTracker on gofrogs.com