Leave it to the Horned Frogs to make things interesting to close out the regular season.
After winning their previous two series in conference play, TCU Baseball started their week with another Tuesday night dud, dropping a 10-5 decision to Lamar, plummeting their RPI to 80 and putting another nail in the coffin of their postseason dreams.
That sent the Frogs on the road to Lubbock for a three game set against one of the league-leaders, eighth ranked Texas Tech. Nick Lodolo, making the likely last regular season start of his collegiate career, took the mound against Micah Dallas, who came into the game with a 4-0 record and a 3.60 ERA.
Both pitchers were lights out under the lights; Dallas scattered seven hits across 7.0 scoreless frames while striking out eight and walking just two. He worked his way out of several jams, hitting his spots when he needed to most. Lodolo was even better, throwing eight shutout frames while tying a career high with 13Ks. He held the potent Red Raider offense to just five hits and walked none.
Though both teams had their chances in regulation, the starting pitching and bullpens delivered time and time again. Four relievers combined to strike out 19 Red Raiders across 14 innings of work, with each reliever working around jams via the K. The first run to score came in an unusual way; Johnny Rizer singled and advanced to third with two outs, bringing up Conner Shepherd. Shep struck out, but strike three was dropped, and as the Tech catcher went to throw him out and end the frame, apparently the turf monster got him:
It wouldn’t have been a fitting way for a TCU-tech sporting event in Lubbock to end, as it seems these two teams often endure a dose of chaos. But the game continued when the Red Raiders doubled home a run - initially ruled out, the play was overturned on review.
A pair of scoreless frames followed until the Frogs finally got some breathing room in the 14th, when TCU loaded the bases thanks to singles by Conner Shepherd and Adam Oviedo preceded a Bobby Goodloe walk. Zach Humphreys took his place in the batter’s box with two down and the bags packed, and delivered a two run double to make it a 3-1 ball game.
Tech didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the inning, putting the tying runs on with one out. But Augie Mihlbauer struck out the final two batters he faced to give the Frogs a dramatic W.
With the victory, TCU Baseball moves to 29-21 overall and 11-11 in Big 12 play. The Frogs and Texas Tech face off in game two tonight, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 on FSSW+.