TCU needs big series win before heading into tough stretch

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    TCU baseball is going through their toughest stretch of their season. After a trip to San Diego, to Texas A&M, vs. UNLV, and now vs. Dallas-Baptist and Oklahoma, TCU is finding what they are made of.

    So far on the tough 12 game stretch, TCU stands at 7-2 after dropping their last two. “If you had said that we could be at 10-2 or 9-3 at the end of this stretch, I would have signed that contract,” Jim Schlossnagle said after his team’s 7-4 loss to Oklahoma.

    The Frogs have not beaten Oklahoma since 2007, and the Sooners have TCU’s number right now. Both Schlossnagle, left fielder Jason Coats, and shortstop Taylor Featherston agreed that the Sooners own the Frogs right now.

    “Hopefully we will see those guys down the road,” Featherston said. Featherston was involved in a controversial double play where an OU runner was called safe because the umpire thought that Featherston was off the bag. “I thought I was on the bag, and we’ll go back to the film and watch, but I thought I was there.”

    By all means, Tuesday night was very frustrating for the Frogs. Four errors let in key Oklahoma runs, and the Frogs have fallen below .970 on fielding percentage for the season.

    “I am not sure if we can win games against good competition consistently with the offense that we have right now if we are fielding below .970,” Jim Schlossnagle said.

    His team is now fielding at a .966 clip on the season.

    The new bats and the graduation of some key offensive cogs from a year ago have made the Frogs a less explosive offensive team at times in 2011. Nonetheless, with TCU’s dominant pitching, the Frogs have a chance to get on a role heading into Omaha.

    “We’ve got to get our pitching right, and the Frogs have a tendency to play really well in May,” Schloss went on to say.

    Tonight, TCU started out the game playing from behind as starting pitcher, Andrew Mitchell, struggled with his command, and a good team like Oklahoma made him pay for his mistakes.

    “I was just leaving the ball up in the strike zone tonight, and they hit all my mistakes and hit them hard,” Mitchell explained after his outing of 3 1/3 innings and 80 pitches.

    Senior Trent Appleby came in after Mitchell and was able to keep TCU in the game, but defense bit the Frogs again in the late innings.

    Erik Miller committed TCU’s fourth error of the game when he threw a throw to second base into center field. The other errors in the game came on a bad toss from second baseman Jerome Pena to Taylor Featherston while trying to turn the aforementioned double play. Featherston then threw the ball into the dugout, and Josh Elander was charged with an error after Featherston was late covering second base on a steal attempt later in the inning.

    Schlossnagle talked about his double play combination up the middle saying, “One thing that I have learned is that Featherston and Pena will do a lot of things that will make me want to pull my hair out, but then they can do something to change a game around.”

    Schlossnagle focused after the game on the fact that his team needs a big series this weekend before heading into the exam period where TCU will get 5 days off.

    The Frogs will travel to Utah to take on BYU this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and then will have five days off before taking on Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK.