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Gray Rodgers entered the season having reached in 11 straight games, and he reached in all three over the weekend (TCU Athletics).

 

 

 

By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer

FORT WORTH — Not every question facing the TCU baseball team this season was answered over the weekend.

In fact, none of them were.

But players who the Frogs hope fill in some of the 2022 blanks were front and center as the Horned Frogs opened play in the MLB4 Tournament by winning 2 of 3 games in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The big takeaway was how well the two newcomers to the weekend rotation pitched, but TCU also saw its offense score 21 runs with contributions from freshman first baseman David Bishop.

All three starting pitchers — Austin Krob, Riley Cornelio and Brett Walker — gave the Frogs a chance. That’s a starter’s No.1 task each time out.

Krob, the lone returnee to the weekend rotation and a preseason All-American, was third-best of the group in the season opener. He dealt with some control issues Friday, but he didn’t allow a run in four scoreless innings. TCU rallied in the ninth to beat San Diego State, 5-3.

Cornelio allowed two runs Saturday in 5 1/3 innings, taking a no-decision in a 7-6 loss to Cal. Walker turned in the best performance, tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday as the Frogs run-ruled Houston 10-0 in eight innings.

Without getting too carried away, let’s call the rotation’s performance encouraging.

The same can be said for Bishop, a freshman from Georgia who played shortstop high school but whose bat is so good the Frogs are playing him at first base. He drove in the go-ahead run Friday in his collegiate debut with a ninth-inning single, his second RBI of the game, and drove in two more Sunday. He went 3 for 10 in the three games.

There were other highlights from players who fans already know. For instance, every TCU fan knows how good third baseman Brayden Taylor is, and all he did over the weekend was go 7 for 11 with four walks and four RBIs.

But this goes without saying: There is a long way to go. The Frogs’ schedule is going to get more difficult, especially when it begins Big 12 play. Don’t starting booking flights to Omaha just yet.

However, the opening weekend was encouraging.

Down goes No. 1

TCU men’s tennis team planted itself in the championship match of the ITA Indoor National Championships on Monday by upsetting No. 1 Ohio State 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The Frogs, who entered the weekend ranked No. 5, won the doubles point by knocking off the top two doubles teams in the country, but needed Sander Jong to win his singles match to move on. Jong won the first set, lost the second in a tiebreaker, but won the third in a 6-0 rout.

“I don’t have any words right now,” Jong said on Twitter with coach David Roditi. “I played a good third set, and we shipped it to the finals tomorrow.”

The win was the Frogs’ second this season over the nation’s No. 1 team (Florida) and their sixth of the season over a top-20 team. They will face No. 3 Tennessee in the final.

Tennessee handed the Frogs their only loss of the season last month.

 

Mayoral smack talk

Dallas mayor Eric Johnson has already started yapping about the TCU-SMU football game in seven months.

Johnson is calling on ESPN College Game Day to make the trip to Dallas for the Sept. 24 game, which will mark Sonny Dykes’ first time at SMU since leaving the Mustangs in November for TCU to replace Gary Patterson as head coach.

The mayor says the Mustangs will retain the Iron Skillet.

 

At some point, Fort Worth mayor Mattie Parker needs to respond.

This kind of aggression can’t stand.

What to watch this week

The busiest week yet for the spring teams is upon us. Take a look.

Baseball: vs. Stephen F. Austin, 6 p.m. (ESPN+); vs. UT-San Antonio, 6 p.m. Wednesday; vs. Nebraska, 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, Globe Life Field in Arlington

Men’s basketball: vs. West Virginia, 7 p.m. Monday (ESPN+), at Texas, 6 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2); vs. Texas Tech, 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2)

Women’s basketball: vs. Oklahoma, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN+); at Texas, 7 p.m. Saturday (Longhorn Network)

Beach volleyball: vs. Florida Atlantic, 9:30 a.m. Saturday; vs. UAB, noon Saturday; vs. Cal Poly, 9:30 a.m. Sunday; vs. Southern Miss, 2:30 p.m. Sunday (all games at Tallahassee, Fla.)

Equestrian: vs. Oklahoma State, 10 a.m. Saturday

Men’s golf: The Prestige tournament, Monday-Wednesday, La Quinta, Calif.

Women’s golf: at ICON Invitational, Monday-Wednesday, Humble

Swimming and diving: Big 12 Championships, Wednesday-Saturday, at West Virginia

Men’s tennis: vs. Tennessee, ITA Indoor National Championships finals, 2 p.m. Monday, Seattle

Women’s Tennis: vs. Stephen F. Austin, 1 p.m. Wednesday; vs. Texas State, noon Saturday

Track and field: Big 12 Indoor Championships, Friday-Saturday, at Iowa State

 

The lighter side

Half moon: Former TCU basketball star Desmond Bane, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, was a key player Friday in the NBA Rising Stars. He won Clorox Clutch Shooting Challenge with teammate Tyrese Halliburton, and was a key player for Team Isiah (Thomas) in the new four-team tournament to determine the winning team.

Bane was fouled and at the free-throw line with a chance to win the game over Team (James) Worthy. As he went into his shooting motion, Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony turned his rear toward Bane and pulled down his shorts. It wasn’t a full moon, as Anthony (thankfully) was wearing Spandex shorts under his game shorts, and it didn’t work and Bane drained the winner.

 

Big Jet TV: Winter Storm Eunice blew into England on Friday, and with it came planes trying to beat the storm at London Heathrow Airport. Enter Jerry Dyer, founder of the YouTube Channel Big Jet TV. He live-streamed nearly eight hours of planes attempting to land in the poor conditions, commenting on the action, and said that some 200,000 people were watching live at one point. The best comes at the 3-hour mark as a British Airways 380 Airbus comes in for a landing. Give it a look.

 

Bad golf shots: Honestly, the set-up looks good. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@frogstoday.com