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TCU Baseball drops series opener 6-3 to Minnesota

The offense sputtered in to start an eight game home stand.

TCU Baseball vs UC Irvine: March 3, 2018
TCU Baseball vs UC Irvine: March 3, 2018
Melissa Triebwasser

TCU Baseball dropped the opener of their three game set with Minnesota Friday night by a score of 6-3, as early errors proved costly once again.

Minnesota scored once in each of the opening two frames to take an early 2-0 lead on the Frogs and Jared Janczak, who was hindered by back to back errors from the very first play. The Golden Gophers got the leadoff man on thanks to an error at second, and Pettersen stole second one batter later with help from a poor throw from Zach Humphreys. A double play ended the frame and limited the damage, but Minnesota would add a run in the second thanks to three straight hits off of JJ. A stellar defensive play kept run number three off the board though, as Josh Watson lasered one in from left field to throw out the runner at the plate and keep things at 2-0.

The Frogs got on the board in the bottom of the second, with the help of Johnny Rizer, back in the lineup for the first time since opening weekend. In his first at bat since the second game of the season, Rizer smacked a double to right, scoring on a Golden Gophers error two batters later.

The Frogs tied things up in the third when Luken Baker scored Connor Wanhanen with a base hit. But the Golden Gophers retook the lead an inning later with a leadoff home run off of Janczak, the last run he would allow on the night. JJ responded with a 1-2-3 fifth before surrendering the baseball to Augie Mihlbauer after a leadoff double in the sixth. Janczak finished the night having gone 5.0 innings, allowing three runs - two earned - on seven hits, with two walks and four Ks. It wasn’t his sharpest performance of the season, but he didn’t get the run support from the offense once again, or solid defense, either.

Milhbauer stopped the bleeding, striking out two, walking one, and not allowing a hit in his inning of work. James Notary came in and lasted just one out after walking a pair, and Austin Boyles followed him and struggled as well, allowing two eighth inning runs on three hits and a pair of free passes, though he did strike out two as well.

Meanwhile, the Frog offense struggled to figure out Meyer, who scattered eight hits over 6.2 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, walking one and striking out just one as well. TCU left eight runners stranded, as they managed just eight hits on the night. Only Connor Wanhanen and Adam Oviedo had more than one, as Wanny reached safely three times and Oviedo two. Baker walked twice and had a base hit, but Zach Humphreys, Josh Watson, and AJ Balta went hitless on the evening. The Frogs managed just the three runs despite striking out just four times on the evening and drawing four walks.

TCU will be back at it tomorrow for game two, with Nick Lodolo taking the bump. This is a crucial series for the Frogs ahead of conference play, as they look to stop their three game slide and win their fourth straight series to start the year.