Kirk Saarloos’ first season as TCU baseball’s coach keeps getting better

·2 min read

Kirk Saarloos has proven to be the right fit in taking over the TCU baseball program.

Tuesday served as another reminder that the program is in good hands as Saarloos earned Big 12 coach of the year honors.

Saarloos led the Horned Frogs to the conference’s regular-season title in 2022, earning the 1-seed in this week’s Big 12 tournament at Globe Life Field. TCU (35-18, 16-8 Big 12) faces 8-seed Baylor at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Saarloos is the only coach to have won the conference championship in their first season. Among those who are in their first season as a college head coach, Saarloos is tied for the Division I lead in wins (35) and ranks second in winning percentage (.660).

Saarloos wasn’t alone in getting recognized by the league Tuesday. Eleven players earned all-conference honors, including two first-team selections, shortstop Tommy Sacco and pitcher Luke Savage.

Brayden Taylor, Marcelo Perez and Riley Cornelio were second-team, while Luke Boyers, Kurtis Byrne, Elijah Nunez, River Ridings and Garrett Wright were honorable mention. First baseman David Bishop was named to the All-Freshman team.

Sacco has bounced back from a down year, batting .359 with 21 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. He’s also regarded as an elite-level shortstop with a .971 fielding percentage.

Savage has emerged as the most reliable bullpen option, posting a 1.82 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 21 appearances.

Taylor, meanwhile, remains one of the best players in the league even though he landed on the second team. He’s batting .308 with 12 doubles, one triple and 10 home runs.

Cornelio has gone 4-4 with a 4.03 ERA over 13 starts, while Perez is 6-2 with a 3.26 ERA over 15 appearances (seven starts).

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