Alexander Pitching Beyond his Years
May 11, 2014
By Jay Hinton
TCU Athletics Media Relations
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU left-hander Tyler Alexander may be just a freshman, but from Day One with the Horned Frogs, the standout from Southlake Carroll High School has pitched beyond his years.
"He's obviously a great pitcher," TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "He was mature before he got here and that's his best tool. He's even growing up more before our eyes."
In Sunday's 9-1 victory over Oklahoma, Alexander went a career-high eight innings on a career-high 101 pitches in upping his record to 7-3 with his third straight victory.
He held the Sooners to just one run (a solo homer in the fourth) on five hits while striking out three without walking a batter.
"His strengths are throwing fastballs for strikes on both sides of the plate and his change up is really, really good," said TCU senior catcher Kyle Bacak. "Today he was spotting up really, really well with his fastball. His change-up was a little off and on but he threw it enough and kept them off balance. He did a great job for us."
Through six innings he had faced one hitter over the minimum and that was in the fourth when he allowed the homer. He faced four Sooners each in the seventh and eighth innings before giving way to the bullpen for the ninth.
"We were a little thin in the bullpen and to have Tyler give us eight innings is phenomenal," Schlossnagle said.
Alexander's first seven appearances of the year were all starts and he was 3-3 with a 3.28 ERA before being sent to the bullpen where he made four appearances.
"My main thing was to get my arm speed up on my off-speed pitches and it helped me take every inning like I was closing and to go out there and get three outs and not worry about six, seven or eight innings," Alexander said.
Bacak noticed a new hurler when Alexander returned to the starting rotation April 29 at Texas. He entered the game with the Longhorns with a 3.02 ERA and allowed just one run on six hits in five innings, but he didn't figure into the decision.
In his three starts since, however, he's gone seven innings or more, allowed just three runs on 13 hits while striking out 13. And, he didn't surrender a walk.
With those numbers he's dropped his ERA to 2.23. For the year, he's fanned 41 and walked just eight.
"I think it got a little fire under him (in the bullpen) and I guess he wanted to prove that he is our Sunday guy," Bacak said. "Ever since then he has been really, really good. He's pounding the zone with his fastball and throwing a lot of strikes."