Strong fan support beneficial for team

The first baseball series of the 2008 season featured a familiar topic that has been prevalent for the majority of the spring season: attendance.

The basketball teams have openly campaigned for support, students have slept outdoors to encourage support, new fan clubs were established and as a result, numbers increased slightly. But many seats still remain cold and unused, and the basketball team started dropping more games at home.

Then came baseball. The nation’s pastime, one of TCU’s more successful athletic programs and still attendance is an issue.

Fortunately the issue contained zero negatives this time, as supporters helped break TCU attendance records for a three-game series, shattering the notion of the apathetic purple-and-white supporter. At least for one sport.

A total of 7,486 fans came up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, breaking last year’s single series attendance record of 6,989.

Granted, the Horned Frogs were taking on 2004 College World Series champions Cal State Fullerton, which also happened to be ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation in one poll, and it was the first series of the season.

Quality of opponent aside, seeing the stands filled with purple and white is an obvious step in the right direction.

The trick now is for students to show lasting support.

The baseball team, which is coming off a season when it was at times ranked in the top 20 nationally, is built around many players who are getting their first opportunities as starters.

A great home atmosphere, just as head basketball coach Neil Dougherty has preached, helps lead to wins and gives players additional confidence, which is something any young team can use.

Although the 7,486 fans who attended the opening series would barely sell out the 7,200 seat Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, the fans were at least actively supporting their Horned Frogs.

TCU lost the series, dropping two of the three games, but the team hung in there with perennial powerhouse and did so thanks in part to a packed house.