Poor defense and a disjointed offensive effort led to TCU Baseball dropping a series for the first time in 2018, as they fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a final of 8-0.
After taking 13 innings to dispatch the Golden Gophers in the continuation of Saturday night’s rained out affair to start the day, the Frogs looked gassed in the finale in all aspects of the game. Things started off well enough, as Sean Wymer cruised through the first 2.2 innings without allowing a hit, but as has been a trend this year, defense undid things in a hurry. A wild pitch in the fourth put the first Minnesota run on the board, and set the stage for a couple of crooked number frames to follow. In the fifth, the Gophers roughed up Wymer to the tune of two straight hits before scoring on a fielder’s choice and his throwing error to third. They added three more in the sixth to put things out of reach, using a combination of more timely hitting and more defensive mistakes by TCU.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, and the Gophers added a run with a sac fly to make it 4-0, ending Sean Wymer’s day. The junior finished having gone 5.2 innings, allowing six runs - two earned - on eight hits, adding five Ks and one walk. He hit a batter, committed an error, and threw a wild pitch. It was a strong start, but a couple mistakes cost him the opportunity at a win. Mihlbauer was hurt right away by an error at short that added a run to the total, and hurt himself with a run-scoring wild-pitch a batter later. Suddenly, it was 6-0, and with the way the TCU bats were going, that was more than enough.
Minnesota added insult to injury with a leadoff home run of of James Notary in the top of the ninth, an inning most TCU fans hoped wouldn’t happen due to travel curfew restrictions. Three straight walks followed the solo shot and a fly out, but the Frogs were plum out of pitchers after using so many arms in the morning, so Notary had to see things through. After an infield fly made it two down, a fourth walk scored the eighth run, but Notary got out of further trouble with an inning-ending K.
The Frogs offense was pretty poor in the afternoon series, as TCU managed just five hits, struck out six times, and drew four walks - a far cry from their game two effort. The defense continues to be a problem, as does the offense - which has been inconsistent throughout the season and was thoroughly dominated by Minnesota pitching for most of the three game set.
TCU will have one last chance to get their house in order Tuesday, when they host Arkansas Pine-Bluff. From there, Kansas State comes to town next week for the start of Big 12 Conference play.