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Behind Nick Lodolo’s stellar start, TCU Baseball holds on for 4-2 victory over Kansas

The Frogs earned their first road win since March 9th in defeating the Jayhawks in the series opener Friday.

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

The Frogs made it three straight Friday afternoon/evening, surviving a feisty Kansas team and (yet another) weather delay to earn their first road win in over a month with a 4-2 victory in Lawrence.

TCU struck first, scoring twice in the top of the first with the help of a pair of walks and a pair of base hits. Connor Wanhanen opened the game with a five pitch walk, and worked his way to third after a bad throw on pickoff attempt. That allowed him to score on Luken Baker’s groundout with two down, and the Frogs would add a run on a wild pitch after back to back singles by Josh Watson and Michael Landestoy and an AJ Balta walk.

Kansas struck back in the bottom of the first, as a Nick Lodolo leadoff walk came around to score. But the lefty shut the Jayhawks down from there, holding them scoreless until a rain delay after six forced him off the mound. Lodolo finished his 6.0 frames having allowed just one run on two hits and one walk, while striking out five. In support of their starter, TCU added a run in the fourth as well, as a walk and a hit by pitch allowed the Frogs to add a third score on a Conner Shepherd single.

Things were quiet until the eighth, when both teams pushed a single run across. TCU got the party started in the top of the frame, opening things up with a Luken Baker single and a Josh Watson walk. Michael Landestoy’s sac bunt put runners on second and third, allowing Baker to score on a Balta ground ball to first. Kansas answered back in the bottom of the inning, getting a lead-off double off of Haylen Green and scoring with two down after a single off of Cal Coughlin. That forced another call to the pen, as Jim Schlossnagle called on Durbin Feltman to deliver a four out save. He did his job with a runner on, striking out Jaxx Groshans on four pitches.

The Frogs went in order in the top of the ninth, and Feltman worked around a one out walk with a strikeout and a groundout to second to seal the game for TCU.

Luken Baker had TCU’s only two hit game of the night, as the Frogs managed just five hits on the game, but drew five walks and struck out just four time. They were without an extra base hit on the evening. The TCU pitching staff was exceptional though; in addition to Lodolo’s quality start, Green, Coughlin, and Feltman combined to allow just one run on one hit with one walk and three Ks.

The two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm, with Sean Wymer expected to take the mound for the Frogs as they look to sew up their second Big 12 series win of the season. With the victory, TCU moves to 17-13 on the season, and evens their conference record at 5-5. Kansas falls to 19-15 and 3-7.