Before the baseball team wrapped up its fall workouts Monday, the Frogs took the field Sunday for the annual Purple/White World Series at Lupton Stadium. While the Purple team captured the series 2-1, senior pitcher Donald Furrow said the games not only helped the team work on fundamentals, but it was also a needed chance to adjust to new coaches.
“With the new coaching staff this year, a lot of stuff got changed from last year as far as how we execute,” Furrow said. “Everyone, so far, has just been getting used to it. It’s great to have the pressure there in a game situation as far as knowing what to do.”
Assistant coach Randy Mazey, who coached the White team, Ryan Shotzberger, a volunteer assistant coach who led the Purple team, and Flint Wallace, director of baseball operations, are all in their first year at TCU.
Junior catcher Andrew Walker said the series helped players reacquaint themselves with a game situation after the summer layoff.
“These guys haven’t played in a while,” Walker said. “They haven’t played since the summer so being able to get on the field and see live pitching is really good.”
Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said the difference between a win and a loss comes down to one thing – quality pitching. The series was cut down to three games instead of last year’s five because of a lack of healthy arms.
“We have some pitchers that we’re resting, some guys on a pitch count and some that are hurt or coming back from surgery,” Schlossnagle said. “We just didn’t have enough pitching to safely play a five-game series.”
On Friday night, two new Horned Frogs, junior pitchers Chris Johnson and Travis Spencer, combined to throw a no-hitter for the Purple team’s 6-0 win in Game One. Junior pitcher Seth Garrison got the win for the White team’s 6-3 Game Two victory Saturday. In a match-up of lefties, Furrow outlasted redshirt freshman Derek VerHagen for a 3-1 win in Sunday’s deciding game.
Schlossnagle said Walker, who had two doubles Friday, played well offensively and defensively during the series.
“I thought Andrew Walker played really well,” he said. “He swung the bat well and threw out the runner he needed to. We need him to have a good season for us.”
With the series complete, the Horned Frogs will lift weights three times a week and work individually with coaches before returning to the field in January, Walker said.