Dallas Baptist came into Lupton tonight with a 20-10 record and left with one more shiny W in the win column. Up until the game was 9-1 in the eighth inning the Patriots threw TCU a steady diet of lefties all night and, as they are known to do against left-handers, the Frogs had trouble getting things going offensively. TCU struck first with one run in the second and DBU evened it up with one run in the fourth. The score stayed knotted there for a while before DBU exploded with an eight-run seventh inning to pull away for good.
Rex Hill started the game for the Frogs and had one of the better outings that he has had in a while. He ended up going 4 1/3 innings giving up six hits but only one run, with four strikeouts and one walk. Janczak came in to finish the fifth inning and went 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, giving up only one hit. At that point in the game TCU had only two hits, both coming from Evan Skoug. DBU had a sizable advantage Tuesday night in that their Sunday game was rained out, so their starting pitcher was actually one of their weekend guys and their bullpen had that extra day of rest coming into this one.
It looked going into the seventh like this might actually be the game where TCU turned the corner and won one of these close games. Ryan Burnett took the mound to start that inning after pitching arguably his best relief appearance of the season on Sunday against Kansas, but things came unraveled quickly. Burnett hit the first batter he faced in the seventh and DBU promptly followed that up with a bunt single, their third of the game to that point. The next batter for Burnett proceeded to hit the next two batters after giving up the home run before he was replaced by Guillory. Astonishingly, Guillory hit the first batter he faced before giving up a two run double to make it 6-1 DBU. Before the inning was over, Guillory gave up a three run homer of his own to stretch DBU's lead to 9-1.
TCU threatened in the seventh and eighth innings, but was never able to get the break they needed to get back into the game. Between our apparent inability to handle left-handed pitchers and some just plain bad luck, it seemed like every time TCU squared up a ball it flew straight into the glove of a DBU player. That, or the DBU player just made a great play in the field to retain control of the game. TCU finished up the game with five total hits. None of these hits came from Warner or Barzilli, thus ending their respective hit streaks of 20 and 14 games.
On the positive side, Drew Gooch is continuing to progress nicely as another lefty option for the Frogs out of the bullpen. He pitched the final two innings in this game allowing no runs on two hits and striking out the side in the eighth. At this point, TCU has lost three games in the last week, the worst stretch of the season for this young team. They will get a chance to rebound this weekend though when a struggling Oklahoma team comes to Lupton for a three game series. The Big 12 regular season title is still within reach, and tonight's blowout doesn't change that. A sweep this weekend would bring it that much closer.