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Frogs prevail 8-3 over Long Beach State behind Lodolo and Landestoy

TCU splits a double header to open the series, winning their first game at Lupton of the 2018 season.

Nick Lodolo pitched a gem in his second start of the season.
Melissa Triebwasser

That is more like it.

Game two got off to a much better start for TCU Saturday night at Lupton, as the Frogs put three runs up early, held on in the middle, and pulled away late for a double header split with a final score of 8-3.

TCU got three RBI from Michael Landestoy and two from Luken Baker, as well as an outstanding performance from Nick Lodolo on the mound, to run their season record to 3-2 and put themselves in a position to win their second consecutive series of the young season.

The Frogs got on the board in the bottom of the first thanks to some serious control issues by Dirtbags’ pitcher Eli Villalobos, who walked four Frogs in the inning. Connor Wanhanen got things started with a one-out double, and Luken Baker walked on four pitches immediately after. Josh Watson drove in a run without swinging the bat, as Wanhanen was able to scamper home on a passed ball during his eight pitch battle - that eventually ended in a walk as well. AJ Balta followed with a... you guessed it... walk to load the bases, and Michael Landestoy brought him own by drawing a free base of his own. That made it a 2-0 ball game and forced a pitching change, as John Castro came in and got out of trouble.

Freshman Tristan Hanoian, making his first start of the season, collected his first hit to lead off the second, and came home to score his first run on a Luken Baker single - one of his two RBIs on the evening. The Dirtbags answered in the third though, scoring three runs on a HBP, a double, and an error. The tie would hold until the fifth, when the Frogs would jump back in front, taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Watson opened things up with a double, and Balta reached safely on an error a batter later. Landestoy picked up his second RBI with a single, and Zach Humphreys - who did not start the game but entered in that frame for Colton Parrish - singled Balta home to make it a 5-3 TCU advantage. That would be all Nick Lodolo would need, as the sophomore lefty went 6.0 innings of three hit ball, allowing just one earned run while striking out six and not walking a batter. He was relieved in the seventh by Trey Morris, who put together a perfect frame and struck out two, before turning things over to freshman James Notary for his first appearance of the year. The freshman was great, collecting a save as he threw 2.0 perfect innings and striking out two in the process.

Just for fun, the Frogs poured it on in the eighth, scoring three runs on two hits. The fun part was watching three TCU players get plunked in the frame, including Balta with the bases loaded.

In all, it was a great bounce back effort for the Frogs, who saw Lodolo pick up his second win of the year, four Frogs pick up two hits (Boulware, Wanhanen, Baker, and Watson), and the team drawing five walks and four hit by pitches. The eight runs were scored on 12 hits.

TCU is back at it for the series decider tomorrow afternoon, as Sean Wymer tries to pick up his first win of the year Sunday at 1:00pm.