With all of the hype surrounding Luken Baker (and rightfully so), it's easy to forget just how good fellow freshman Josh Watson has been. But the left fielder, who starred on the diamond and the football field at nearby Arlington Martin, is doing his best to force fans to remember his name.
Watson will likely get some national attention for his game Saturday at Wichita State, as he hit a baseball so hard and so far that it cleared not only the fence, but the stands, and the parking lot, landing somewhere in the street and probably rolling back down to Fort Worth as we speak. The two run blast was the highlight of a three hit, three RBI, two walk day against the Shockers for Watson, who co-led an absolute barrage of power Saturday afternoon along with centerfielder Dane Steinhagen, who launched a three run shot of his own. The scary thing for fans of future TCU opponents is that as explosive as this offense was today, it could have been worse for the Shockers: the Frogs left 12 men on base.
After being shutout through three frames, the offense plated runs in six straight innings, with five run explosions in the seventh and eighth to put the Shockers away. They scored twice a piece in the third, fourth, and fifth, and added a single insurance run in the top of the ninth. Evan Skoug continued his hot streak Saturday, with two hits and a pair of runs batted in. Barzilli was two for five, and scored four times, with a triple and a stolen base for good measure.
Brian Howard started the game from the bump for the visiting team, and after pitching a pair of virtuoso performances over the past couple weeks, he came back to earth slightly in Kansas, lasting only three innings and being charged with five runs on six hits, as the Shockers ran out to a 3-0 lead early. The Frogs got two back in the fourth, as Luken Baker and Elliot Barzilli hit back to back doubles and Watson singled home run number two to cut the deficit to one. WSU would strike back with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth off of Howard before Brian Trieglaff came in an threw four innings of three hit ball for his third win of the year. Drew Gooch would finish things off, allowing one run over two frames and four hits.
The Frogs had five doubles in addition to the two long balls, one each from Warner, Skoug, Baker, Barzilli, and Watson, as part of their 13 hit day. They also waited out 12 walks, taking advantage of a Shocker staff - and they tried a bunch of guys, six in all - that couldn't consistently find the strike zone. Another key to the victory was the errorless ball played by the infield - after struggling against Texas, the defense has been much improved in the past week.
TCU, now 21-5 on the year, will go for the road sweep tomorrow, as freshman Dalton Horton makes his first weekend start at 1:00pm. One other note to watch will be whether or not we see Nolan Brown in the lineup; if he plays tomorrow, he will not be able to redshirt this year. He did not make an appearance in Saturday's game.