After what felt like months of rain, TCU finally got to break out the home whites Saturday afternoon, as they opener their series against Long Beach State a day later than anticipated.
The Frogs struck first in game one, breaking through for a run in the bottom of the first. After leadoff hitter Coby Boulware struck out, Connor Wanhanen singled through the left side. Luken Baker followed with a walk, putting two on with one out for the red hot Josh Watson - and he deliverd. Watson’s double off the wall plated Wanhanen and gave the Frogs an early 1-0 advantage.
Long Beach didn’t waste much time answering though, scoring in the top off the second off of Jared Janczak. JJ wasn’t himself Saturday afternoon, allowing three runs on five hits through 6.1 innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. The Dirt Bags took the lead in the top of third, bringing home a second run with the help of a leadoff double and two groundouts.
The Frogs finally got back on the board in the fifth, with a bit of a crazy turn of events. Freshman shortstop Adam Oviedo drew a one out walk, and looked to be eliminated on Coby Boulware’s double play ball. But LBSU booted the easy chance, and Oviedo used speed and head’s up running to come all the way home. Boulware was left stranded at third, though, as Connor Wanhanen and Luken Baker ended the inning with back to back strikeouts.
The seventh inning was the death knell for the Frogs, as Janczak scuffled in his final frame. After starting the Dirt Bags off with a hit batter, JJ allowed a one out double, and followed by intentionally walking the bases full after falling behind Mercadel. That would be his final batter of the day, as he was lifted for Haylen Green. Green wasn’t able to find the zone though, and ended up walking what turned out to be the winning run in on four pitches. Cal Coughlin relieved Green and did an exceptional job getting TCU out of further trouble.
TCU had their chances, including two runners on in the seventh, and a two out base hit in the bottom of the ninth. But the bats never really got going, and the Frogs ended up on the wrong end of the opener. They have a shot to get right back to work in game two of the double header, with Nick Lodolo taking the mound at 5:30.