For those that know of junior right fielder Brance Rivera’s tremendous character and exuberance, tonight’s win for TCU was somewhat bittersweet as Rivera’s hitting streak came to an end.
Rivera’s hit streak stood at 27 games before he went 0-for-4 tonight vs. Luis Flores of UT-Pan American.
“I just didn’t feel that [strong] at the plate tonight. It was just one of those nights,” Rivera said. “I feel blessed. It was a fun ride, and this just means that I am going to have an even stronger second half.”
Rivera had a hit in every game this season before tonight. During the 27-game hit streak, Rivera had 14 multiple-hit games with nine two-hit games, four three-hit games, and one four-hit game.
However, in two of Rivera’s last five games, he had needed his final at-bat to extend his hit streak. Thirteen times he led off the game with a hit.
Former Frogs excel in opening week of Major League play
Three former TCU pitchers were in action throughout the last 24 hours in Major League Baseball. Former Frogs Jake Arrieta of the Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Cashner of the Chicago Cubs, and Sam Demel of the Arizona Diamondbacks are all pitching for their respective teams.
In Arrieta’s first start for the Orioles Monday, he pitched six innings while giving up just one run and getting the win for Buck Showalter’s undefeated Orioles. Arrieta pitched for the Frogs from 2004-2007 and was managed by Jim Schlossnagle.
“You definitely feel like a proud papa,” Schlossnagle said. “The last 24 hours have been really special. We came close to having three pitchers get wins in the bigs.”
Schlossnagle’s enthusiasm and joy over the success of his former players was evident. Arrieta was one of the first dominant pitchers to come through TCU in the Schlossnagle era. He is what Schlossnagle likes to call a “program player.” He left the program better than he found it and was a star for the Frogs every year he spent in Fort Worth.
Cashner of the Chicago Cubs made his first professional start Tuesday. Cashner pitched 5 1/3 innings tonight for the Cubs before leaving due to shoulder tightness. He allowed just two hits and one run in his 5-plus innings.
“You just hope Cashner is alright after leaving the game, and he would have gotten the win if [the Cubs] had not blown the lead,” Schlossnagle said.
The Montgomery native came to TCU from Angelina Junior College. Cashner was drafted four times before he finally turned pro after being drafted in the first round by the Cubs in 2008. He was rated as the 95th-best prospect in baseball before the 2010 season, and he has a unique opportunity to make an impact with the Cubs in the starting rotation.
The third Frog to see action was Demel who pitched in relief for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Demel was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the third round of the 2007 draft after several seasons at TCU. He had been drafted in 2004 by the Rangers before opting to attend TCU to play for Schlossnagle.
Demel earned his third MLB win Tuesday pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Alex Apple is a freshman journalism and political science double major from Nashville, Tenn. and a writer for SportDFW.com.