America’s Pastime

Americas Pastime

Following a hard-luck road tournament in South Carolina, the Horned Frogs’ baseball team has returned home for a three-game set with the Vermont Catamounts.TCU will be using ace starter Jake Arrieta (2-1) in Friday night’s match up against Vermont’s Brandon Miles. Miles will be making his season debut for the Catamounts, while Arrieta will try for his second-straight home win.

The Horned Frogs (7-4) will bring 11 games of experience in the 2007 season while the Catamounts will take the field for the first time in this year’s campaign.

“We’ve played a couple teams from up north before, and they definitely are not a pushover,” said senior infielder Steven Trout.

Trout has been helping key the Horned Frogs’ offense this season with a team-leading 12 RBI. Along with Trout’s run production, the middle four batters of the TCU lineup are hitting a combined .331, and the return of senior outfielder Keith Conlon has been a boost. Conlon was scratched from the starting lineup for two games during the last home series against the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles.

“It’s been really good to have him back,” Trout said. “He brings a spark to the lineup and is a big leader with the bat.”

Game two of the series will be a battle of juniors as Seth Garrison (1-0) of the Horned Frogs faces the lefty Joe Serafin. Serafin had the most starts for the Catamounts last season, and Garrison pitched TCU to a win over the No. 24 North Carolina State Wolfpack Sunday.

“Garrison has been pitching great lately,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

Chris Johnson is the starter slated for game three on Sunday afternoon. Johnson earned his first win for the Horned Frogs against Oral Roberts where he gave up only two hits and two earned runs in five innings of work.

The rotation will give some of the relievers a chance to get work out of the bullpen during the series, as well, Schlossnagle said.

“Derek VerHagen and Tyler Lockwood were bright spots last weekend,” Schlossnagle said about his relievers. “VerHagen was surprisingly good because we haven’t seen him much this season and he was lights out on Saturday night.”

Junior closer Sam Demel notched his second save of the season against NC State.

The win against the Wolfpack did bring a vote of confidence to the team, Trout said.

“It was a big win after we lost the first three and we were able to come back and beat a ranked team,” Trout said.

Though the Horned Frogs fell from the national ranks with three losses in the tourney in South Carolina, the arrival back home will give the team a chance to rebuild a winning streak as conference play draws near.