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Pair of Watson HRs, Baker’s Blast Power Frogs to 7-2 Win Over UTRGV

TCU rebounded nicely from their poor Sunday showing with an impressive effort Tuesday night.

Melissa Triebwasser

For the second time this season, Josh Watson and Luken Baker hit back to back jacks in the same game, as TCU ran UT Rio Grande Valley out of the building on their way to a 7-2 victory Tuesday night. The back to back blasts came in the fourth inning with two outs, and Watson’s was actually his second of the night - following a first inning three run shot that gave the Frogs a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

Charles King got the start for TCU, in what Jim Schlossnagle referred to as “an audition” to contend for a starting spot. With Wymer having already missed one start, and struggling to make the transition from the bullpen early, and Russell Smith getting touched up in his first extended action Sunday, there is certainly some flexibility in the rotation for the Frogs. King delivered a solid performance in his first start of the year, scattering five hits across 3.2 innings and allowing just one run while striking out five. King induced two double play balls to get out of trouble, and didn’t walk a batter, in earning the win.

Meanwhile, the Frogs were smacking the ball all over the park as part of a nine hit effort, with Watson leading the way. The switch-hitting slugger, who struggled through a sophomore slump a season ago, continued his torrid start Tuesday, racking up four RBIs on the two home runs. The two dinger night doubled his season total (4), and helped him finish the evening with a .462 batting average - best on the team. Baker’s blast, of the two run variety, the only hit for the first baseman on the night, but he scored twice and walked once as well. TCU got a great effort from Connor Wanhanen, who moved up in the order to the leadoff spot for the first time in 2018 and responded with a pair of doubles and a run batted in. If there was an offensive complaint to be made, it would be in regards to the 12 times Frog hitters struck out, but it did take seven different Vaqueros pitchers to earn the double digit K night. TCU drew four walks and mashed six extra-base hits.

The bullpen was really good for TCU once again Tuesday, erasing some of the struggles of Sunday’s out-of-character effort. After King exited, the combination of Jake Eissler (1.1 innings of two hit, one run ball with four strikeouts and zero walks), Haylen Green (2.0 innings of no-hit ball, with three Ks and a walk), James Notary (a 1-2-3 eighth with a K), and Durbin Feltman (three Ks, though the leadoff batter reached on a passed ball), got the job done, throwing up four straight frames of zeroes.

The Frogs closed out their home stand with a 6-2 record to run their season mark to 7-3 overall. TCU hits the road for the next four, including a three game swing through Southern California that will have them facing off with USC, UCLA, and Vanderbilt as part of the Dodger Classic, beginning Friday night. They follow that with a Tuesday tilt in Houston, before returning home to host Minnesota for a weekend series.