Due to the high likelihood to a washout Saturday, TCU Baseball played two to open their three game set against Seton Hall Friday. They came away with a pair of victories in two very different ways.
TCU 5, Seton Hall 1
Nick Lodolo recorded the first complete game of the year in Friday’s opener, holding the Pirates to just one run on two hits while striking out six and walking a pair.
The Frogs’ got on the board first in the fourth inning, as Johnny Rizer made it his personal mission to score. The red hot junior outfielder got on base via a one out base hit to right, stealing second ahead of an Austin Henry walk. Conner Shepherd’s fly out allowed him to advance to third, and he got the Frogs on the board via a sneak steal of home.
The 1-0 lead would have been nearly enough on a night where Lodolo was dealing once again, but three Frogs picked up RBIs during a four run sixth to give him some cushion. Alex Isola and Johnny Rizer started things off with a pair of base hits, though Rizer was out at third base on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Henry. Shepherd brought home the second run of the game on a base hit to make it 2-0, and after Adam Oviedo walked, Bobby Goodloe laced a two run single to make it a 4-0 game. After Hunter Wolfe’s fielder’s choice, Josh Watson walked to load the bases, allowing Jake Guenther to bring home TCU’s final run of the game.
Seton Hall got their first hit since the first inning in the seventh - the final inning of the shortened game ahead of the second half of the double header. A bunt single to the mound after an error put a runner on led to an RBI foul out to account for the 5-1 final.
The Frogs scored their five runs on eight hits, with Watson and Rizer collecting two apiece. TCU failed to collect an extra base hit, but drew seven walks on the game in the win.
TCU 8, Seton Hall 6
After using stellar pitching to take game one, the Frogs saw the bats wake up in the second half of the double header in support of Charles King and co. The Pirates struck first, taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth off of King, scoring a run in the second thanks to a pair of singles and an error on Guenther. They doubled that up in the fourth thanks to another error, this one by Wolfe in right. But the Frogs got both runs back and then some in the fourth, scoring four times in the frame, all by way of the long ball.
Wolfe made up for his fielding mistake by taking the first pitch he saw out over the right field wall, and after Watson (single) and Isola (walk) reached base safely, Rizer sent them back to the dugout on the long ball express to make it a 4-2 ball game. But Seton Hall was not willing to go quietly into the night, striking for a three spot in the top of the fifth to retake the advantage. Four straight singles ended King’s night, as the righty finished his second start of the season having gone just 4.2 innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. King struck out three and walked none, and it’s hard to blame him for the sloppy defense that kept SHU in innings.
Jake Eissler relieved King and settled things down some; after allowing an RBI single to the first batter he faced, he got an inning-ending strikeout of the next. Trailing 5-4, TCU scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, as Guenther brought home Josh Watson who had led off the inning with a walk and stolen second. Guenther himself would score after the Pirates walked the bags full on Henry’s sacrifice line out.
The only run of Eissler’s night came in the eighth, tying the score at 6-6. But the junior was hurt by TCU’s third error of the game. After allowing a single and induing a ground out, Eissler was lifted for Marcelo Perez, with six strikeouts under his belt. Perez got a groundout, but a throwing error by Guenther allowed a run to score - though that was all the damage that would be done as the freshman ended the inning with the first of his two Ks on the night. The Frogs went back on top in the bottom of the frame, scoring twice on their seventh and eighth walks of the game with assists from a Rizer sac fly and a Zach Humphreys’ single. Perez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, needing just six pitches to get out of the ball game and picking up his third win of the season in the process.
TCU will get a rare Saturday off tomorrow before closing out the series Sunday, with Brandon Williamson expected to take the mound for a 1:00pm start.