Horned Frogs look to rebound after streak-breaking loss

Horned Frogs look to rebound after streak-breaking loss

The Horned Frogs will look to bounce back from Tuesday night’s 12-inning, nine-game, win-streak-snapping-loss to the Oklahoma Sooners tonight against Brigham Young University.

This is the first meeting of the two teams this season. The Horned Frogs have run off six straight Mountain West Conference wins to push their record to 8-4 through four conference series.

There should be no shortage of offense in Provo, Utah, for the Horned Frogs, which exploded for 12 runs Saturday against UNLV. TCU swept the series and outscored the Rebels 19-6 during the series.

The Cougars come into the three-game set with a team ERA of 7.62. Their home ballpark may contribute to the inflated ERA, as it is very much a hitter’s park, junior catcher Hunt Woodruff said.

“BYU is an awesome place to play,” Woodruff said. “We love going up there and playing ­­- I mean they have great fans, great atmosphere, a nice ballpark and the ball flies out there. It’s a great atmosphere and we love playing against them.”

Last year when TCU and BYU faced in Provo, the Horned Frogs plated 29 runs in three games.

The Cougars’ offense is lead by junior outfielder Kent Walton, with a .331 batting average, which is tops on the team.

In January, Walton was temporarily expelled from the university and the team when he had his ecclesiastical endorsement withdrawn. The endorsement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors BYU, is required to attend the university and must be renewed every year. He was reinstated to the team Feb. 7.

The Horned Frogs’ junior relief pitcher Andrew Cashner has pitched in three of the last four games, notching two wins and a loss to push his record to 7-2. In the three games, Cashner worked 5 1/3 innings with 11 strikeouts. He struck out seven batters in his three innings against the Sooners on Tuesday.

“I feel good,” Cashner said. “Hopefully I’ll have Thursday and Friday off, and hopefully we can come after them and score a lot of runs and come home with some victories.”

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle will once again send the young trio of sophomore Tyler Lockwood, freshmen Sean Hoelscher and Greg Holle to the mound for the series.

In his last start Saturday, Hoelscher took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. At one point, he set down 16 in a row en route to a career-high eight-strikeout performance.

“It’s a big conference series, so we need to take care of business out there,” sophomore catcher Bryan Holaday said.