TCU has been on fire lately, both at the plate and from the mound. It appears they may have added to their arsenal Tuesday night, as Mitchell Traver made his return and looked sharp in a two inning start.
Traver, who has been sidelined by a muscle strain, wasn’t asked to do much against UTA Tuesday, but made the most of his limited time on the mound, striking out four and allowing just two hits, as he threw 37 pitches in two frames of work - 25 for strikes. TCU put him in line for the win with a first inning run, scoring off the strength of a four walk frame with Josh Watson’s sac fly notching the RBI. The Frogs had the bases loaded for Luken Baker with no outs in the opening frame, after three straight walks by starter Jordan West, but the Mavs’ Jake Wilcox struck the slugger out for a big first out. While the big inning was not to be, TCU recovered for a three run fifth, with Austen Wade and Cam Warner striking for back-to-back singles after Zach Humphreys reached on an error. Josh Watson drove them both home with a two out double, and the Frogs had enough cushion to secure the victory.
Meanwhile, the TCU arms continued their assault on opposing hitters. Freshman Haylen Green followed Traver with a brilliant 2.2 hitless innings of his own, walking one while striking out four. He gave way to Trey Morris, who was touched up for a solo home run in the sixth, but was otherwise solid in his 1.1 innings of work, allowing two hits, striking out one, and walking none.
The Frogs got that sixth inning run back just a frame later, adding to their lead off of a pair of doubles by Cam Warner and Luken Baker, two of the three they hit in the game. UTA wasn’t done though, as Hollie blasted a solo shot of his own on the first pitch that Sean Wymer threw on the night to make it 5-2. Wymer settled in and returned to his dominating form, striking out the side on three straight 2-2 counts. He finished with five Ks in two innings of work before turning the game over to Durbin Feltman to close out the ninth.
When Durbin Feltman takes the mound with a cushion, it’s hard to imagine an outcome that is anything other than success. But Durbin struggled a bit and his defense let him down, as a one-out error by Elliott Barzilli precluded a pinch-hit triple, scoring a run and putting another 90’ feet away. Feltman allowed a single a batter later, and all of a sudden it was a 5-4 game with one out and one on in the bottom of the ninth. But Durbin settled in, inducing a groundout for the second of the inning, and catcher Zach Humphreys made a stellar play to throw out the runner at third on a ball in the dirt.
The 5-4 win is TCU’s ninth straight, pushing the Frogs’ record to 23-5 overall. Traver earns his first win of the season, while Feltman notches his eighth save. Josh Watson had three RBIs on one hit, while Warner and Baker knocked one in a piece as well. The Frogs walked six times - four in the first inning - and struck out ten times. TCU pitchers fanned 14 and walked just one. The Frogs return home for three against Murray State this weekend, starting with a 6:30pm start Friday evening.