Monday, May 14, 2012

Coats, Frogs have big weekend in Colorado

TCU not only earned the sweep of Air Force they so badly needed this weekend, they also added a few exclamation points to the three wins.  The Frogs outscored the Falcons 33-3 on the weekend, and since New Mexico dropped one of their games against UNLV, TCU moved within striking distance of their seventh consecutive regular-season MWC title. Among the highlights of the weekend:

-Jason Coats reached two big milestones over the weekend, collecting his 300th base hit and his 200th career RBI.  He needs 17 hits and 25 runs batted in by the end of the season to reach Royce Huffman's school records in those categories.  Coats, who started the season a bit slow, now leads the team in batting average (.341), total hits (60), doubles (11), RBI (43) and slugging percentage (.528).

-As a team, the Frogs collected an eye-opening 45 base hits this weekend, which is definitely a sight for sore box score-reading eyes.  The three day outburst in Colorado Springs raises the team's overall batting average to .260 for the season.

-Among those registering in the hit column this weekend was junior catcher Al Ralston, who rapped a single in the 9th inning of Saturday's contest in his first career at-bat.  If you don't recognize Ralston's name, it's because he is the team's bullpen catcher.  He likely had no expectation of ever getting into a game, but that's a cool gesture by Schlossnagle to reward his hard work and probably a good moment for the continued building of team chemistry when the team got to celebrate his newly-minted 1.000 batting average.

-Freshmen Derek Odell and Kevin Cron both extended their hitting streaks, with Odell' snow at 7 and Cron's at 6.  Just as was the case this fall with the football team, the youngsters on this year's baseball squad have come a long way since the start of the season.  Their initial growing pains will pay off down the road.

-Credit is also due to the TCU pitching staff, who held Air Force to just 18 base hits (and a .188 average) for the weekend.  Preston Morrison, Andrew Mitchell and Stefan Crichton all looked sharp and earned wins in their starts.  The Falcons aren't exactly the Texas Rangers' lineup, but any mistake in that altitude can turn into a 420 foot home run.  The Frogs' ability to avoid those mistakes is good preparation for what I hope is another deep NCAA run.

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