June 24, 2010

BUSINESS STUDENT ATHLETES LEAD AT COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

OmahaTeamwork, leadership and a desire for success. These attributes are vital to a business career.  

They pay off on the baseball diamond, too.  

In TCU’s first trip to the College World Series (CWS), 11 members of the Horned Frog baseball team are business majors.  

Catcher Bryan Holaday, a senior marketing major and Detroit Tigers draft pick, has been called the heart and soul of the TCU Horned Frog team. Coach Jim Schlossnagle has called him their quarterback. Holaday is one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award given to the nation’s top catcher. (The winner will be announced July 1.) Holaday is among the top 10 nationally in slugging percentage (.599), runs (64), hits (90), doubles (23), total bases (154) and homers (13). He has caught 19 of 37 would-be base stealers this season and is just shy of the team lead in fielding percentage. He went 3 for 5 with a home run, two runs scored and RBI in the Game One 8-1 win against Florida State. He doubled in Game Three against the Seminoles to bring Jason Coats in for a score.  

Outfielder Jason Coats, a sophomore business information systems major, delivered a two-run double that turned the 1-0 game into a 2-1 lead in the first inning of Game One against Florida State. Fans gave him a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the fourth. Coats tied a TCU single-season record with his 97th hit in the eighth, an opposite-field single that scored Brance Rivera with the Horned Frogs' final run. Coats leads the team with a .376 batting average and 69 RBI.  

Sophomore business major Taylor Featherston’s triple against UCLA in Game Two may be remembered as one of the highlights of TCU's first CWS appearance. Featherston had a full count with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh against UCLA ace Gerrit Cole. In game 1 against Florida State, Featherston lofted a sacrifice fly after Witte doubled. Aaron Schultz then singled home Witte to give TCU a four-run cushion. 

Infielder Joe Weik, a junior marketing major, went 1 for 2 with two runs scored in the 8-1 win against Florida State, and 1 for 4 with a run scored against UCLA in Game Two. Weik is hitting .374 with three home runs and 37 RBIs. 

Reliever Eric Marshall, a first year TCU MBA, pitched the last two frames of Game One against FSU, Marshall threw 23 pitches, walking one batter and allowing no hits in the eighth inning. 

Kaleb Merck, a sophomore business major, handed the Seminoles their final six outs to close Game Three and earn the save. Merck threw 1 2/3 innings of no-hit, scoreless relief in Game Two against UCLA. 

Other Neeley School athletes on the Horned Frog baseball team are: Freshman Tyler Duffie RHP; Sophomore Zac Jordan OF, sophomore Walker Kelly LHP, sophomore Relly Mercurio IN, and sophomore Erik Miller RHP. 

(This story contains reports from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Associated Press, ESPN, and TCU Daily Skiff.)