Baseball Season Opens Friday Night

Feb. 13, 2014

Ole Miss

No. 19 TCU (0-0) vs. Jacksonville (0-0)

 Date (Time)  Friday: Feb. 14 (6:30 p.m. CT)
 Saturday: Feb. 15 (2 p.m. CT)
 Sunday: Feb. 16 (1 p.m.)
 Location  Lupton Stadium | Fort Worth, Texas
 TV
 Friday: FSSW
 Starting Pitchers
 Friday: Brandon Finnegan vs. Alex McRae
 Saturday: Preston Morrison vs. Zach Gordon
 Sunday: Tyler Alexander vs. Justin Russell
 Radio Listing  KTCU 88.7 FM, FrogVision
 Listen Online  Friday
 Watch Online  Saturday | Sunday
 Radio/TV Talent  Chuck LaMendola (Play-By-Play)
 Gametracker  Friday | Saturday | Sunday
 Game Notes  Game Notes
 Twitter Updates  Baseball Twitter


FORT WORTH - The No. 19 TCU baseball team kicks off its 2014 campaign Friday night when they play host to Jacksonville for a three game series. Friday's season-opener will be televised on FSSW beginning at 6:30.

TCU NOTABLES
TCU enters the season among the top 30 teams in all of the major polls. The Horned Frogs were picked to finish in a tie for second place by league coaches. TCU received one of the nine first place votes.Brandon Finnegan, Preston Morrison and Kevin Cron all earned preseason All-American nods.

The Frogs return 14 letterwinners from a year ago, including seven regular starters. On the mound the Frogs return two of their three weekend starters and six pitchers total. TCU's recruiting class, which featured 18 newcomers, was ranked No. 17 by Baseball America. In addition, the Frogs welcomed two new coaches this season in Bill Mosiello (associate head coach) and Zach Etheredge (volunteer assistant).

JACKSONVILLE NOTABLES
Jacksonville is under the direction of first-year head coach Tim Montez. Montez spent eight years as an assistant prior to being promoted to head coach. The Dolphins were picked to finish ninth in the 10-member Atlantic Sun league.

The Dolphins return 14 letterwinners from last season's squad. Five field starters return, led by Dylan Dillard who hit .304 with five home runs a year ago. The pitching staff welcomes back six arms, led by Alex McRae who tossed 84 innings. The Dolphins brought in 17 newcomers this past fall. Four of the new faces all played together at Seminole State College (Angelo Amendolare, Parker Perez, Connor Marabell and Justin Russell).

SERIES NOTABLES
TCU and Jacksonville met on the diamond for the first time last season with the Horned Frogs making the trek to Florida. TCU took a 2-1 series victory over the Dolphins. Jacksonville won the series-opener, 5-3, but the TCU pitching staff turned in back-to-back shutout efforts in the final two games. The Frogs outscored them 23-0 in those games. The Dolphins have not scored a run against the Horned Frogs in the last 23 1/3 innings played. Dolphins assistant coach Chuck Jeroloman was a volunteer assistant at TCU from 2012-13.

SEASON OPENER NOTABLES
Brandon Finnegan is the opening day starter for the second straight season. He is the first Frog in the 21st century to start consecutive openers.

TCU is 6-4 in season-opener's under coachSchlossnagle. The Frogs are opening at home for the seventh time, and the first since 2012, under the direction of Schlossnagle. TCU is 4-2 in the previous six season-openers at home. TCU is opening against a team from Florida for the second time since 2007. The Frogs travelled to Orlando for a season-opening series against UCF. Since the opening of Lupton Stadium in 2003, the Frogs are 6-5 in the home opener.

A MOUND OF EXPERIENCE
The bulk of last season's talented pitching staff returns in 2014. Six of the 12 pitchers who saw time on the mound are back this year. As a group, they tallied 61% of the team's starts and 60% of the innings pitched.

Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison headline the group of six with a combined 30 starts. As a group, they posted a 2.06 ERA and limited opponents to a .220 batting average. They totaled 266 strikeouts as compared to just 82 walks.

In the offseason, the Frogs added seven pitchers to their roster. Six of the seven are freshmen. Tyler Alexander was a 23rd round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers. Additionally, redshirt freshman Mitchell Traver (2012, 39th round pick) will make his collegiate debut after missing the 2013 season with an injury.

A BIG HOLE TO FILL
Over the course of his 10 seasons at TCU, head coach Jim Schlossnagle has had the luxury of a consistent presence at third base. In 10 years, Schlossnagle has seen 10 different players spend time at the hot corner. Of those 10, just two, Matt Carpenter and Jantzen Witte, account for 61% of the games played under Schlossnagle.

Witte's graduation marks the end of an era. The successor to Carpenter, who played 188 career games at third base, Witte made 190 starts at the hot corner. He was a career .327 hitter with 63 doubles, 14 home runs and 138 RBIs.

PASSING THROUGH THE TURNSTILES
Over the past four seasons, the popularity of TCU baseball has reached all new heights. For the second straight season, the Frogs averaged over 3,500 fans per game. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Frogs are averaging 3,770 fans per game.

The Frogs ranked 11th nationally in average attendance in 2013 at 3,570 per game. Additionally, 107,117 fans passed through the turnstiles, a mark that ranked 13th nationally. Both marks were tops among private schools. The totals were second-best in the Big 12 behind Texas.

In 2013, the Frogs saw two of the top 10 crowds, while all 10 have come the last three seasons.

THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
The Frogs added 18 newcomers to their roster in the fall. The group includes 13 freshman, one sophomore transfer and four junior college transfers. Baseball America ranked the group No. 17.

Two members of the incoming class were drafted in Tyler Alexander (23rd round) and Jordan Kipper (39th round).

Joining Alexander in the freshman class are: Connor Beck, Ryan Burnett, Will Foreman, Will Fox, Eric Garza, Brandon Gilson, Brian Howard, Michael Landestoy, Robby Medel, Walker Pennington, Ty Slanina and Preston Templer.

Transferring to TCU were Connor Castellano, Dylan Delso, Garrett Crain, Jeremie Fagnan and Jordan Kipper.

A MOUND OF EXPERIENCE
The bulk of last season's talented pitching staff returns in 2014. Six of the 12 pitchers who saw time on the mound are back this year. As a group, they tallied 61% of the team's starts and 60% of the innings pitched.

Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison headline the group of six with a combined 30 starts. As a group, they posted a 2.06 ERA and limited opponents to a .220 batting average. They totaled 266 strikeouts as compared to just 82 walks.

 

 


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