Intrasquad series gives rookies playtime

Intrasquad series gives rookies playtime

After two weekend games, the best-of-five Purple-White World Series is tied at one game all.Each team had impressive showings in its respective victories, with the Purple-clad Horned Frogs taking game one, 7-2. The White team answered with a 7-0 win Saturday.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he liked the way freshman second baseman Aaron Schultz looked at the plate for the White team through the first two games. Schultz had a hit in each game.

On the pitching side, Saturday’s starters, freshman right-hander Greg Holle and sophomore left-hander Derek VerHagen, stood out for Schlossnagle.

Holle pitched 4 2-3 innings and allowed two hits and two walks in the shutout for the White team during game two. VerHagen received no run support, surrendering two runs on four hits for the Purple team. The lefty also had seven strikeouts.

For the Purple team, sophomore right-hander Tyler Lockwood racked up five innings in relief of junior right-hander Andrew Cashner, a transfer from Angelina College.

“Tyler Lockwood was steady, just like he was last year and did a great job,” Schlossnagle said after Friday’s game.

Schlossnagle said with 16 new players, an NCAA rule change that allows for more fall practice could not have come at a better time. The team will get 33 practices this year compared to 18 last year, Schlossnagle said.

The team will use its practice time this week to work out any holes he observed before next weekend’s final games.

“We screwed up a cut-off play (Saturday), so we’ll probably spend some time working on that,” Schlossnagle said. “It’ll basically just be a tune-up for the last three games next weekend.”

Of the 16 new players, 11 are freshmen. Junior right fielder Matt McGuirk said the veteran players have been asked to serve as role models.

“We’ve been asked to take over the leadership role and show these guys how you’re supposed to play,” McGuirkMM said.

During practice, the pitchers are on a three-day throwing schedule to preserve arm strength, Holle said.

“Monday, I’ll throw and catch,” Holle said. “Then, we do a long toss the day after that, and then, I’ll go back to the bullpen. I’ll just keep redoing the cycle.”

Holle said he prefers the competitive atmosphere of the series over drills.

“When you’re finally able to put everything together out here in the game situations, it’s a lot more fun,” Holle said. “You get out there and sort of get a feel for what it’s going to be like during the season.”

The series continues Friday through Sunday at Lupton Stadium.