Success lies with pitching strength

Success lies with pitching strength

The bullpen should be strong this season as members of the baseball team return with more than 20 appearances each.

TCU baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle said the pitching staff would have a little different setup this season with senior Tyler Lockwood returning to the bullpen and joining junior Trent Appleby in the long relieve role.

“The last two years (Lockwood) was one of our top two or three pitchers but really his best role is as a relief pitcher,” Schlossnagle said.

In the short relief role will be sophomores Erik Miller, Kaleb Merck and Walker Kelly. Senior Eric Marshall will be the closer again this year, Schlossnagle said.

“Eric Marshall was our closer last year, and I have nothing but confidence in him of doing that again,” Schlossnagle said.

Sophomore Kyle Winkler said it is great having a strong bullpen to back up the starters.

“We have a shutdown bullpen, and if we have a close game, our bullpen is going to be able to shut it down for us,” he said.
Junior Steven Maxwell said he felt good about his teammates.

“It’s a heart-warming feeling that you know the guy behind you is going to be just as good our better,” Maxwell said.

Marshall is the ace of the bullpen. He had nine saves and posted a 1.48 earned run average in 2009. He had a record of 2-2 and struck out 20 batters in 30.1 innings.

Lockwood will look to improve on his performance this season after his numbers dropped last year from those he put up during his sophomore campaign when he was named first-team All-Mountain West. Lockwood went 4-2 last year with a 4.71 ERA. He started nine games and came out of the bullpen eight times, striking out 44 batters and throwing 70.2 innings in 2009.
Lockwood went 7-2 his sophomore year with a 2.75 ERA while striking out 71 batters and throwing a league high 104.2 innings.

Appleby is one of the long relievers for the staff. The first-team All-Mountain West selection tied for the team lead in appearances with 24, and he had a record of 4-1. The 6-foot-2 pitcher threw 57.1 innings and struck out 47 batters. Appleby also posted a 3.61 ERA and recorded one save in 2009.
Miller is the other pitcher that made at least 20 appearances last season. The 6-foot-3 right-hander had a 4.50 ERA in his campaign for the Frogs. He was second on the team in saves with three, and he struck out 25 batters during the 26 innings he pitched.

The other two returning pitchers are sophomores Merck and Kelly.

Merck, who is also a utility infielder, made 17 appearances during his freshman year and had a 5.94 ERA. He struck out 22 batters in the 16.2 innings he pitched.

The left-handed pitcher Kelly only pitched 11.2 innings in 2009 but struck out 18 batters. He made 11 appearances and one start during his freshman year and compiled a record of 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA.

Along with freshman Matt Purke, the Frogs added three more pitchers to the team with freshmen Steven Murray, Griffin Davis and Tyler Duffie. Schlossnagle said he would probably redshirt them this year.