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TCU Baseball shutout in series opener at Baylor

The Frogs had just one hit against the Bears, who jumped on TCU early and often on their way to a 6-0 loss.

TCU Baseball at UTA (April 18, 2018).
TCU Baseball at UTA (April 18, 2018).
Melissa Triebwasser

The Frogs went in order in the first three innings Friday in their opener against Big 12 bottom feeder Baylor, a sign of these to come as TCU would manage just one hit on the night. After striking for 11 runs against UTA Wednesday, the Frogs could get nothing going Friday, with just two players reaching base all evening, both in the fourth, meaning they went in order in all but one frame all game.

Baylor struck first, scoring in the bottom of the first when they lead off with a double and singled twice to score once. It was the first cracks in the armor of Nick Lodolo, would struggle against a lineup that was hitting just .261 coming into the game, but struck for six runs on 10 hits against the conference’s ERA leader. Things could have been even worse - the Bears stranded 11 batters on the evening as well. Lodolo settled in over the next two frames before allowing a big inning in the fourth, one that would end his night at 3.2 innings pitched.

After the Frogs got their first base runner in the top of the fourth - a lead-off walk to Zach Humphreys - and their first hit - a single by AJ Balta - Baylor struck back in a big way with four runs on three hits. Lodolo got Langeliers to fly out to opening the inning, but the quick out was followed by a double, a walk, and a groundout. Hit by pitch - single - hit by pitch - single made it 5-0, and chased Lodolo from the game.

Caleb Sloan came on in relief and ended the inning, but allowed a solo shot to lead off the fifth, making it a 6-0 ball game. That would be the final tally. Lodolo allowed five earned runs on seven hits, walked two, and hit two batters, while striking out four. Caleb Sloan followed him and went 1.2 innings of three hits and one run, with one walk and two Ks. Austin Boyles finished the game, striking out five, and keeping Baylor out of the hit column, but got in some eighth inning trouble due to three walks and an error. His double play kept Baylor from expanding their lead late.

It was an uninspired effort from the Frogs, who struck out 10 times, committed an error, allowed four extra base hits, walked five, and hit two. For a team that has lost their best pitcher (Jared Janczak, possibly for the season) and best offensive player (Luken Baker, definitely for the season), it seemed that the emotional toll was finally too much to overcome Friday.

This is a must-win series for a TCU team hanging on by a thread for postseason baseball, and they will have work today after tonight’s shutout loss. But, a bounce-back win tomorrow could change their fortunes, and they will turn to veteran Sean Wymer to make it happen. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05pm.