Squad to face Runnin’ Rebels in Vegas

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    The baseball team will put their three-game winning streak on the line this weekend against the potent lineup of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels.

    TCU enters its second conference series of the season after falling to the University of New Mexico 1-2.

    TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said the UNLV team has improved from last year, especially in hitting.

    “They really hit, and hit with a lot of confidence and a lot of power in their own ball park,” Schlossnagle said.

    The Rebels’ offense is led by junior infielder Xavier Scruggs. Scruggs leads the team with a .465 batting average, six home runs and 25 RBIs. He’s an early favorite for player of the year in the Mountain West Conference, Schlossnagle said.

    “We’ll attack him according to the situation. With a guy like that, you just try to limit the baserunners in front of him,” Schlossnagle said.

    The Frogs will counter the Runnin’ Rebels’ bats by sending sophomore Tyler Lockwood, freshmen Sean Hoelscher and Greg Holle to the mound.

    Lockwood moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation when sophomore Steven Maxwell went down. In his first start of the season last Thursday against New Mexico, he held the Lobos to two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He will get the start in the series opener tonight.

    The Horned Frogs will try to keep the bats going against a pitching staff with a combined ERA of 7.03 for its starting pitchers. The Frogs exploded for 20 runs in the final three innings Monday night in their win over Dallas Baptist University.

    “Baseball, and especially hitting, is a lot about confidence, so hopefully we’ve taken something from the last 24 hours and can turn it into some positive things in conference play,” Schlossnagle said Wednesday.

    Schlossnagle said he still expects more production and consistency out of the middle of the order.

    Junior Corey Hales leads the staff with a 2.17 ERA and a 4-1 record and will get a start during the three-game set. Hales won his last start Tuesday night against the University of Nevada, Reno.

    “They have a couple guys at the front end of their rotation that are pitching really well,” Schlossnagle said. “They’re going to be a real tough opponent.”

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