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TCU Baseball bounces back for 8-1 victory behind King’s complete game

Charles King evened the series with a dominant performance on the mound, as he went the distance for the Frogs.

TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
TCU Baseball vs Texas | March 24, 2019 | Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Melissa Triebwasser

Charles King’s first pitch of the night was also, arguably, his worst.

After TCU Baseball jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a leadoff single by Hunter Wolfe and a Kansas State error, Cameron Thompson took King’s first pitch deep to right for a solo shot, evening things up at one apiece.

But the first Wildcat run of the ball game would also be the last, as King shut down the K State offense across a dominant performance that saw him go the distance. King through 119 pitches across nine innings of work, allowing just six hits while striking out six batters and walking just two. The junior was lights out when his team needed him most, keeping the bullpen fresh for Saturday’s rubber match.

The Frogs’ offense gave him plenty of backend support as well; after being held scoreless for the first six innings Thursday, TCU exploded for eight runs across the first three frames Friday night against two Cats’ pitchers, taking an early lead in the first, regaining it in the second, and jumping on Kasey Ford and Jaxson Passino for six in the third.

Josh Watson led off the big inning with a hit by pitch, advancing to second on a wild pitch ahead of a Jake Guenther walk. Guenther, who has reached base in every game he has played for the Frogs, walked twice in the game in addition to collecting a base hit. Alex Isola loaded the bases with a single to left, chasing Ford from the ball game. Johnny Rizer, who had another excellent catch at the wall later in the ball game, brought a runner home with a sacrifice fly, and Austin Henry reached safely on an error to make it a 4-1 ball game. He would steal second on a wild pitch that also scored Isola, which was followed by back to back singles by Andrew Keefer and Conner Shepherd. Another error brought Keefer home, and Hunter Wolfe ended the scoring with a base hit of his own.

The pitching settled in for both sides from there, as the two teams combined for just eight hits the rest of the way. Henry and Wolfe had two hits each for the Frogs, as TCU scored four unearned runs thanks in part to three K State errors. The Frogs drew five walks and stole four bases as well, including two by Henry.

TCU will look for a series victory Sunday before starter Brandon Williamson, with first pitch set for 4:00pm.