TCU's pitching staff has had a rough time this weekend. The bullpen, which was pretty impenetrable so far this season, got lit up again today and Rex Hill continued the trend of starting pitchers turning in short starts that has plagued us all weekend. Hill went four innings today, matching the longest outing for a starter of the weekend. Luken Baker went four innings on Friday and Brian Howard only made it through 3 1/3 on Saturday. In his four innings of work, Hill gave up eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits while striking out two with no walks.
Down 2-0 already to start the bottom of the first, TCU loaded the bases on three walks around a couple of foul outs, but Barzilli was unable to drive in a run as he struck out to end the inning. In the second inning USC continued to walk everybody and loaded the based for TCU again. This time, back to back hits from Warner and Skoug drove in four runs to put the Frogs ahead. USC opened up the third inning with a triple and after another hit and a three-run homer the Trojans were back on top 6-4.
TCU was just never able to find any consistent pitching as Hill gave up another two runs in the fourth to stretch USC's lead to 8-4. Four runs is nowhere near an insurmountable lead for this team and had the Frogs been able to hold the Trojans to that total for a while they might have found their way back into the game. Today was just the day when this USC team, who has fought the Frogs hard all weekend, broke through to secure a win.
Roedahl came in to start the fifth inning and he gave up four runs on two hits in 1/3 of an inning, helping the Trojans along the way with a couple of walks. Dalton Brown came in to finish the fifth inning and gave up a couple more runs in the process. At that point, it was already 14-4 USC. Wymer came in in the sixth and threw two scoreless innings before giving way to Feltman to start the eighth. Feltman gave up a couple more runs in his one inning of work on a two run homer to Ramirez, who also had the three-run homer in the third. Gooch came in and pitched a scoreless ninth, but by then it was too late.
After the fourth inning, the only runs for TCU came on a single from Steinhagen in the fifth and a solo homer by Josh Watson in the ninth. This was the first game in which TCU has homered that they lost. Despite having opportunities early, the Frogs bats just weren't in it today. The best offensive performances came from Watson who went 2-4 with the home run and Steinhagen, who went 2-5 with an RBI.
Everyone knows the old adage in baseball that you can't win them all. Sometimes, you lose and sometimes you lose by a lot. That's just how baseball go, as Wash would say. This USC team had 52 total runs on the year coming into this weekend. In three games against the Frogs they scored 30. The good news is that this is a TCU team that is talented enough to win two games against a good opponent even when their pitching isn't performing up to par. It's hard to take an L like that, but this is the level of competition that TCU will see in conference play. Now they know what to expect. Hopefully this weekend got the kinks out of their system.