Luken Baker went off Saturday afternoon, and his two home run, six RBI day was more than enough to help secure TCU Baseball’s first series win since the sweep of Kansas State at home.
Baker got the scoring started in the first inning, blasting a ball to dead center that would probably still be airborne were it not for a 13’ high tarp’s interference.
The two-run shot scored Zach Humphreys who bounced back after a hitless Friday with a 1-2 day at the plate, walking twice, scoring twice, and getting plunked once. The Frogs added to their 2-0 lead in the second, scoring on some nifty base-running by AJ Balta. The centerfielder started the inning with a double and went second to scoring on Adam Oviedo’s bunt a batter later. It was the kind of aggressive play that has been going against the Frogs in 2018, but worked on more than one occasion this afternoon.
T2 | AJ Balta's legs get the Frogs another run. He doubles to lead off the inning and scores from second on a sac bunt from Adam Oviedo. TCU leads 3-0 as we head to the bottom of the second. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/lLANmZGgZ0— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) April 14, 2018
Meanwhile, Sean Wymer was nails, keeping the Jayhawks hitless until a lead-off double in the fourth. KU would score just two runs on four hits off of Wymer, who went 8.0 innings, struck out six, walked one, and oddly hit three batters - but hey, it was cold.
TCU broke things open with a three run sixth that started with Balta’s second double of the day and was aided by a pair of wild pitches. Coby Boulware had an RBI base hit in the frame, one of his three base knocks on a day that saw him reach base four times. The big inning of the day belonged to the eighth, though, when Kansas made the mistake of pitching to Baker with the bases loaded. After singles by Boulware and Johnny Rizer, Zach Humphreys drew a one out walk, bringing the junior slugger to the dish with no where for KU pitching to put him. On a 1-0 count, Luken lifted one to left, a moonshot that might not yet have landed for a grand slam.
The Frogs scored five in the frame when Josh Watson crossed the plate on Adam Oviedo’s single. They cruised from there, though Kansas got a meaningless run in the ninth on a solo shot off of Austin Boyles.
It was the kind of offensive day Frog fans have been waiting for - only Connor Wanhanen and Conner Shepherd were hitless as starters, and Johnny Rizer, Baker, Watson, Balta, Oviedo, and Boulware all had multi-hit games - with Watson, Balta, and Boulware connecting three times a piece. In all, TCU had 17 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, drew seven walks, took two hit by pitches, and struck out ten times. Ten different Frogs reached base safely. Additionally, Wymer’s eight inning effort saved a bullpen that has been taxed recently, a crucial piece ahead of Jared Janczak’s return from injury tomorrow, a start that could be short as he works his way back.
TCU goes for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with JJ on the mound, with first pitch scheduled for 1:00pm. The Frogs could use the momentum of a conference sweep and a fifth straight win with back to back rivalry series (Baylor and Texas Tech) coming over the next two weekends.