The TCU Horned Frogs exhaled a little tonight.
Less than 24 hours after a rough 3-2 defeat to No.5 Texas A&M, the Horned Frogs picked themselves back up with a 5-2 victory over UT-Arlington.
It would be a major understatement to say TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle was upset Tuesday. Anyone who knows anything about baseball would understand that.
"Last night and this morning, I took that loss as hard as I've taken any loss in a very, very, very long time,'' he said on Wednesday. "And that's because I wanted it for our kids."
I got to thinking, and a parallel came to mind. I asked Schlossnagle tonight if the frustration stemmed from his team needing to breakthrough and consistently beat top-level programs, and mentioned how Tulane went through the same situation when he was an assistant.
TCU has had its share of wins against quality programs this year, taking 2-of-3 from Ole Miss, beating Cal State Fullerton and beating Baylor twice. Looking back through some records, I noticed how the Green Wave gradually improved in this area.
Year - Major wins - Comment
1998 - 1 - Beat LSU
1999 - 2 - Beat LSU twice
2000 - 2 - Defeated Auburn and Alabama
2001 - 7 - Wins over Pepperdine, Oklahoma State, and four against LSU, including two in the super regional at Zephyr Field in New Orleans.
When Matt Vern crushed what looked to be a two-run home run on Tuesday (the wind caught it and the ball ended up being a fly out to left field to end the game), Schlossnagle said he immediately thought back to a similar moment at Tulane.
It was his fifth year as an assistant under Rick Jones in 1998 (the same timespan that he's now been at TCU) when the Tulane-LSU rivalry was moved to Zephyr Field for the first time. LSU was extremely talented and in the top 10, but Tulane won on three-run walk-off homer by Jason Sparks.
"That changed our program,'' Schlossnagle said. "The very next day we had a donor come in and say he wanted to build us an indoor hitting facility. And it just changed the perception of our program."
TCU's coach knows there have been some big wins this year, but didn't ignore the significance of what was at stake.
"You're talking about a state rival that you hadn't seen in 11 years at home,'' Schlossnagle said. "That would've been nice."
WHERE THEY STAND
A look at where TCU stands through five years under Jim Schlossnagle, and how Tulane did in his first five years when he was an assistant under Rick Jones:
1994 - 41-24
1995 - 32-26
1996 - 43-20
1997 - 40-21
1998 - 48-15
2004 - 39-26
2005 - 41-20
2006 - 39-23
2007 - 48-14
2008 - 30-16*
*through Wednesday night