Bacak Developing Game Around the Plate
May 4, 2014
By Jay Hinton
TCU Athletics Media Relations
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some fans may think TCU catcher Kyle Bacak has the easiest job on the diamond: He just puts up his glove and the pitchers hit it.
It's not that it's easy to catch a talented pitching staff, but he makes it look that way because he's worked at it.
"He's having the kind of senior year defensively that we needed him to have," TCU head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "He didn't play well defensively the first half of the season last year, and this year he has played outstanding."
Along the way, Bacak, who has made 92 career starts for the Frogs, has earned the respect of the staff.
"I can make the most aggressive pitch I can and I don't have to worry about the runners on base. It's definitely a big pick-up when he's behind the plate," said Preston Morrison, who twirled his second straight complete-game shut out Friday night.
"We love throwing to Kyle. He's a great receiver, a great defender, has a great arm and he's doing everything he can to help us be the best pitching staff in the nation," Morrison said.
At the same time, Bacak knows where his bread is buttered.
"On this team we have an unbelievable amount of quality pitching. We're a team full of aces basically," he said. "I hold up my glove and they hit it. They are very, very good. It's a lot of fun catching this staff."
In addition to his solid play behind the plate, he has picked up his game at the plate.
In Sunday's 21-7 win over Kansas State Bacak delivered a two-run go-ahead single in the Frogs' seven-run fifth and they never looked back in completing the sweep over the Wildcats.
"I pretty much eliminated everything but a fastball so I was waiting for him to throw me a fastball," the senior from Katy, Texas, said of his fifth-inning plate appearance. "I was keyed in on that and trying to stay back and put a good swing on it."
Last season he hit .238 with three doubles and 12 RBIs, while this year, he's currently hitting .250 with three doubles and 12 RBIs. He's walked 15 times and struck out 14 times while posting an on-base percentage of .375.
"He is playing exactly the way we need him to play to have success across the board," Schlossnagle said. "He manages the game back there and functions at the bottom of our offense."