Avoid Baylor fans right now. The aforementioned is sound advice in almost all contexts but especially considering the Bears securing only the second national championship by a Texas college basketball team ever on Tuesday night. Bear boosters will be more insufferable than normal and for a length of time longer than can be approximated. Basketball is finally finished for everyone, and it’s time to fully transition to spring sports, and if last weekend was any indication, Frog fanatics have lots to be excited about.
TCU baseball started their season in late February with an SEC showdown in Arlington in which the Frogs struggled to produce meaningful offense and fell against Ole Miss and Arkansas but beat Mississippi State in between. It’s worth noting that all three of those opponents are currently ranked in the Top 5 in the nation.
Aside from opening weekend, Coach Jim Schlossnagle’s Diamond Frogs are displaying bountiful hitting and have smashed their way to a 20-7 record with only one meaningful skid that included their only back-to-back losses thus far, against Sam Houston and Texas State. The early season highlight was surely their home 20-0 win against Texas Southern.
I avoid extrapolating too much from early season baseball of any kind because of the relatively long season, but last week, conference play began, so it’s time to start paying close attention. The Frogs are riding the wave of a nine-game-win streak dating back to March 20. Their victories during that time include two wins against the University of Louisiana, one against UTA, and broomings of Baylor and Oklahoma on consecutive weekends. TCU’s opening conference series against the Bears finished with a combined score of 24-4 in favor of our Frogs with Baylor failing to score more than two runs during any outing.
Last weekend’s sweep of OU wasn’t as dominant defensively, but the purple punishers compensated with their batting by bringing home 35 runs through three games, including 17 on Saturday in what was only their third best offensive performance of the season. (They’ve scored 20 twice.) TCU is currently undefeated and leading the conference but ranked two spots behind Texas Tech in the national polls at 10th. Stay tuned. The Frogs travel to Lubbock this weekend to square off with the Raiders in a series that should provide clarity for who the likely conference champion should be.
When we last dropped in on Coach David Roditi’s tennis program, they had secured victory over the then and now again No. 1-ranked USC Trojans at the ITA Indoor championships. Since that victory, TCU has skidded a bit against a stiff outdoor-season schedule, including an 0-4 loss to USC in a follow-up match, an 0-7 loss to second-ranked Florida, and a 2-5 loss to 10th-ranked Texas A&M. Despite the recent losses, Roditi’s racketeers are currently 8th-ranked and stole a match of great importance on Saturday as they opened conference play against 7th-ranked Texas.
Purple stars Luc Fomba and Alastair Gray were reunited after a hiatus as doubles partners to defend their No. 11 national ranking to aid their teammates in securing the doubles point. Gray continued the success in singles and while looking to up his 10th ranking in singles. Fomba played at the line-one spot against the Longhorns and fell in his first set after losing the set tiebreaker 1-7. The French Frog responded by winning the next set 6-3 before playing catchup during the final set to force another tiebreak and flipped the script by blanking his opponent 7-0 in the third-set breaker to win the match. Fomba won 11 consecutive points to force the extra play and win the match that became the difference in an overall 4-3 score.
Four conference matches remain for men’s tennis until the Big 12 tournament and postseason play. Their victory over Texas clears a path for the Frogs to raise the regular season crown after the Longhorns stymied their three-peat en route to a national championship two years ago. Their final credible threat is the Bears in the last match of the season. TCU bested Baylor 1-4 in Waco during the indoor season, but the match will be contentious at least as the winner is likely to be leaving with the trophy in tow.
It’s also worth noting that the TCU women’s soccer team is still playing in what can be considered an extended season because it wasn’t prudent to play a national tournament in the fall. The Frog futbolers are undefeated through 10 games dating back to September of last year. Their only blemish was a tie in their first game on the road in Waco. Fort Worth’s ladies are 4th-ranked and the only Big 12 squad in the Top 10. Only two opponents remain before the Frogs jet off to North Carolina, which will host all male and female teams during four rounds of the national championship tournament.
The spring is shaping up strong in Fort Worth as baseball, tennis, and soccer are all riding win streaks and ranked in the Top 10 in their respective polls.