The TCU offense exploded Saturday against Kansas State, as four players hit long balls for the Frogs on their way to a 12-2 game two win to sew up a series victory in their first conference series of the year.
The Frogs actually trailed early Saturday afternoon, thanks to a second inning solo shot by Maxson. But Nick Lodolo tightened the reins from there, and got plenty of help from the offense, as TCU pulled away. The Frogs tied things up in the bottom of the second, playing good old fashioned baseball and taking advantage of Wildcats starter Gabe Littlejim’s control issues. AJ Balta and Adam Oviedo led off the frame with back to back walks, and Conner Shepherd’s groundout advanced them to third and second respectively. Coby Boulware followed with a sac fly to tie things up, and it would be all Horned Frogs from there.
Things got wild in the bottom of the third, as three Frogs went yard. Zach Humphreys continued his solid hitting by laying down a perfect bunt for a single. Luken Baker was walked immediately following him, and Josh Watson moved them over with a ground out off of a new pitcher. Humphreys scored on a wild pitch to start off Michael Landestoy’s at bat - one on which he would homer one pitch later - his first long ball of the year. AJ Balta caught the fever and laced one to dead center, his first Lupton Launch, and Conner Shepherd made it back to back to back jacks with his second dinger in two days and third of the year. That gave TCU a 6-1 lead, which would prove to be more than enough, but they weren’t done yet.
K State made an attempt to get back into the game in the seventh, but Nick Lodolo didn’t let them get much momentum. A walk and a pair of singles helped them scrape together a second run, but that was all, and things were pretty much over by the bottom of that frame as the offense lit up once again.
It was a great performance from Lodolo, who has been up and down this season, but gutted out wins regardless. He went 7.0 innings, his longest appearance of the year, allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and just two walks as he locked up a Big 12 series victory for the home team.
Apparently deeply offended by the Cats run in the top of the seventh, the Frogs got back to work in the bottom, adding six more runs on the strength of four hits and an error. Luken Baker joined the long ball parade with a solo shot to lead things off - also his second in two days - and the Frogs scored five more times with two outs. Adam Oviedo singled and stole second, and Shepherd worked a walk to put two on for Tristan Hanoian. The freshman was greeted with a new pitcher, who promptly plunked him, and the Frogs added a run when Wanhanen walked behind him. Zach Humphreys singled up the middle to clear the bags, giving Baker a second at bat in the frame, but his ground out ended the damage.
Caleb Sloan and James Notary didn’t allow a hit in their inning of work a piece, closing out the W for TCU. The Frogs had five extra base hits on the day, struck out just four times, stole a base, and were error free for the second consecutive game. They piled up 12 runs on 12 hits and eight walks.
TCU will go for their first sweep of the year tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 1:00pm and Sean Wymer on the bump.