Mitchell Traver’s quality start was wasted as TCU fell in the finale of a three game set out west, 8-3 to Cal. Traver, who started Saturday afternoon, went 4.2 innings in his final start before the post-season, allowing one run on five hits, striking out four and walking just one. When he left, the Frogs trailed 1-0, and Austin Boyles finished the fifth by striking out the only batter he faced.
TCU tied things up in the sixth when Austen Wade opened the inning with a walk, advanced to second on Zach Humphreys’ single, to third on an Evan Skoug groundout, and scored on Cam Warner’s groundout a batter later. But things came apart for the Frogs in the bottom of the frame, when freshman Charles King took the mound. King, who seems to have hit the wall a bit late in his first year of collegiate baseball, struggled once again, allowing five runs on five hits - but being hurt mostly on an error by Ryan Merrill that could have ended the inning. Merrill has also struggled over the weekend; making a bad error in each of the last two games and making some dangerous throws along the way.
Jake Eissler relieved King for the final two innings, allowing two runs and his fifth long ball of the season in the process. TCU would tack on two in the top of the eighth, but it wouldn’t be enough to dent the Bears’ lead. The Frogs scored just three runs on seven hits, as Evan Skoug went hitless for the second consecutive game and only Humphreys and Warner had more than one hit. TCU drew four walks and struck out seven times, while the Frogs’ pitchers walked a pair and struck out six.
While the sweep would have been a nice cherry on top of the season, the loss is unlikely to have much of a negative impact on TCU’s postseason hopes. With Texas Tech completely the sweep of Kansas earlier in the afternoon, TCU shares the Big 12 Conference title with the Red Raiders but will be the #2 seed in the tournament that begins Wednesday in OKC. The Longhorns currently sit in the seventh spot, but will need to beat WVU on Sunday to retain that seed. Otherwise, the Frogs will face the Jayhawks in round one, which is the preferable matchup, though KU did take a game off of the Frogs in Fort Worth. TCU is still in the hunt for a top eight seed, and the series win should keep them there. A couple wins in the Big 12 Tourney should keep them in Fort Worth through the Supers.