Coming off its first College World Series appearance, the horned frog baseball team ranks number one in the preseason college baseball poll.
This season the Frogs will return seven of nine starters this season. Sophomore Matt Purke, junior Kyle Winkler and senior Steven Maxwell return to the plate this season, each have received preseason accolades.
Baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was proud of the way the Frogs opened up the season, even with a loss in game three of the series.
“I’m really proud of the way we’re playing right now,” Schlossnagle said. “There’s no area of our team that I have a problem with.”
At the Frogs season opening series against Kansas all three pitchers combined walked only one batter in 17 innings.
Junior outfielder Jason Coats said the team was in good shape at the home opener, but there are certain areas the team can still improve on.
“I think we’re right where we want to be right now,” Coats said. “Our pitching to defense is really good right now, and I think we’re gonna keep rolling with that.”
Coats said the competitive attitude the team had against Kansas at the home opener is something he wants to see carried out throughout the season.
At the season opener, the Frogs’ number one ranking wasn’t their only advantage. Lupton Stadium was expanded before the season to accommodate 1,000 more cheering fans.
The combined series attendance was 14,893. This smashed the previous record of 10,312, set in 2010 against Texas Tech, by more than 4,000.
Friday night’s attendance of 6,099 broke the previous high attendance record of 4,375, set when Texas A&M visited on April 13, 2010.
“It’s really great to see all the students come out, especially the first night with over 6,000 people being here,” Coats said.
He saidfan turnout at the opening game was great motivation.
Schlossnagle said the turnout will continue to be high if the Frogs keep winning.
“Any time you combine a winning program like we have with a good opponent like Kansas… and good weather, you know, is a recipe for college baseball,” Schlossnagle said.