Frogs receive confidence before Beach Classic tourney

The Horned Frog baseball team is riding a wave of confidence heading into its four-game weekend on the East Coast.TCU moved up three spots to No. 18 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll after sweeping Oral Roberts University (2-3), and now the Frogs (6-1) have high expectations going into the Baseball at the Beach Classic hosted by Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.

“Sweeping a quality team like that will boost our confidence going into a big weekend,” junior relief pitcher Cody Dunbar said. “We are going to come into this tournament wanting to prove something and still make a statement.”

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said that confidence can greatly affect a team, especially in baseball.

“Baseball is such a game of failure that if you’re not consistently trying to find a way to maintain your confidence and believe that you can do it, baseball will eat you alive,” Schlossnagle said.

Junior catcher Andrew Walker said a way to fight off overconfidence is to stay within the team.

“Don’t listen to what other people have to say outside of the team,” Walker said.

This weekend trip will give the Frogs a chance to play two more top-30 ranked teams. The two ranked schools are the host school, the No. 30 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (7-0) and the No. 29 North Carolina State Wolfpack. The other two teams the Frogs will face in the Classic will be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1) and the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks (3-4). The Seahawks, Fighting Irish and Wolfpack all were in the NCAA tournament in 2006.

“It’s going to be a good tournament with a bunch of quality teams,” Dunbar said. “It’s going to be good for us to see how we match up. If we go 4-0 like we want to, it should boost us up and show that we are going to make a statement this year.”

The four games the Frogs will be playing in three days will give the team some quality experience for tournaments they will compete in later on in the season, Schlossnagle said.

“It’s a good preparation for a regional,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s good to play at different times, which has a chance to happen when you play in a conference tournament with odd times.”

During the NCAA regionals, a team can play up to five games in four days.

Schlossnagle has already decided three of the starting pitchers he will use this weekend.

Junior Jake Arrieta (2-0) will start Friday night in the first game for the Frogs. Chris Johnson (1-0) and Chance Corgan, both juniors, will start Saturday, but Schlossnagle has not decided which will pitch in the final game.

The Frogs will open the Classic against the Chanticleers at 11 a.m. on Friday.