HOUSTON — It was not the finish to the weekend at Minute Maid Park that the Horned Frogs envisioned, to put it lightly.
One night after getting blanked by Texas A&M on the same field, TCU baseball let things get away from Rice in the blink of an eye Sunday, enduring a 12-2 loss to the Owls in a game that ended via the mercy rule.
The Horned Frogs never led, as senior starter Jared Janczak lasted less than two innings before the carnage only piled up further later in the game. Janczak, after a perfect first, loaded the bases up in the top of the second before hitting a batter and walking in a run in what quickly became a 3 run inning — and an early 3-0 lead — for the Owls. He only lasted 1 2⁄3 innings, issuing a pair of walks and 3 earned runs with zero strikeouts.
TCU wouldn’t go down without at least attempting to put up a fight though. The Horned Frogs responded the next inning when Hunter Wolfe hit a 1-out triple off the left field wall and then scored when Porter Brown singled the next at-bat. But TCU would leave a pair of runners stranded as Rice starting pitcher Jackson Parthasarthy was able to get Jake Guenther on strike 3 looking several batters later.
Missed opportunities on offense became a theme of such rather quickly throughout the night for TCU. The Frogs, still down 3-1, had two runners on with nobody out the following inning, but hit into a pair of pop-ups before another strikeout ended the inning.
TCU would cut the lead to just one on an throwing error by Rice in the 5th, but that too could have been more, as the Frogs once again had a pair of runners on with less than 1 outs and stranded two.
And those missed chances perhaps weighed heavy on the minds of Jim Schlossnagle & Co. considering the mess that followed.
Rice extended its lead to four with a three-run bottom of the fifth inning, as the Owls strung together three consecutive extra-base hits off TCU relievers Charles King and Cal Coughlin. The onslaught only continued in the sixth inning as Rice’s bats took off against Spencer Arrighetti for six runs — marred by a two-out fielding error from right fielder Andrew Keefer that brought home two runs and allowed the inning to continue.
With TCU trailing 10-2, Rice second baseman Cade Edwards made it a 10-run deficit one at-bat later when he launched a pitch from Arrighetti into the Crawford Boxes above left field for a two-run homer. That lead would hold, as the Frogs went down quietly in the top of the 7th to end the game on a mercy rule.
TCU is now 6-4, wrapping up a 1-2 weekend at the Shriners College Classic after going 3-0 in their previous appearance two years ago. The Horned Frogs return to action Tuesday at home vs. Stephen F. Austin.