Baseball: Team to begin conference play

The TCU baseball squad will play in the first Mountain West Conference preseason tournament in San Diego on Thursday afternoon against Brigham Young. The Frogs will also face the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, San Diego State and Air Force in games scheduled through Sunday.

Seven of the nine MWC schools in the conference participate in baseball. The preseason tournament is designed to compensate for the fact that each team will not play each conference opponent an equal number of times, head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

Schlossnagle also said that these games will help alleviate the sense of mystery that often comes with meeting unknown opponents in competition for the first time.

“It’s a better situation because we’ll be facing four teams at one time and getting video tape and lots of info about the others,” he said. “Every team will be doing that.”

The Horned Frog lineup will be put up against some heavy offensive threats, such as BYU’s Ben Saylor, who leads the Cougars in hits with 23. SDSU’s Paul Smyth is the Aztecs’ hitting leader, with a .349 average and 38 hits.

Considering the numbers, Matt Carpenter, a sophomore infielder, said the preparation of the Frog pitchers will be a major factor in the team’s success.

“The pitchers do a great job mentally and physically to compete at the highest level,” Carpenter said. “[They] take it one at-bat at a time and really focus.”

Carpenter said a good performance at the tournament will send the team into the April 7 conference opener versus Air Force with a positive outlook.

“We take one game at a time, but hopefully we’ll go into next weekend with confidence,” he said.

The Horned Frogs next home game is 7 p.m. Tuesday against Baylor at Lupton Stadium. The Frogs last encounter with the Bears came on March 21 in a 10-4 loss in Waco.