TCU’s run through the Big 12 Tournament will have to take the scenic route after the Frogs fell in their tournament opener, 5-2 to Oklahoma State. Two solo home runs was all the offense TCU could muster, while Nick Lodolo struck out 12 through seven innings of work.
It very well could have been Lodolo’s final start in a TCU uniform, depending on how the rest of the tournament plays out. The junior lefty is projected to be a top-10 pick in the MLB draft, with some mocks having him headed down the road to join the Texas Rangers organization.
TCU hit the ball hard throughout the contest, but Oklahoma State made good plays in response, limiting the Frogs to just five hits on the night.
Nick Lodolo made one bad pitch through his first five innings of work, allowing a solo home run in the second inning off the bat of Colin Simpson. Other than that, Lodolo was impressive through five, striking out eight consecutive hitters spanning from the third to fifth innings. He did it in an incredibly efficient manner, too, throwing just 63 pitches through five innings.
Lodolo hit some bumps in the sixth, though. The Cowboys put two runners on with no outs, and then Lodolo gave up a double that put Oklahoma State ahead 2-1. The next at bat led to a sacrifice fly, putting OSU up 3-1.
Things got worse for Lodolo, as the next batter hit a two run bomb to extend the Cowboys’ lead to 5-1. In the end, it was a 30-pitch inning for TCU’s ace, and a seemingly insurmountable lead for the TCU bats.
Johnny Rizer seemed to catch a break in the top of the seventh, after an error by OSU’s third baseman allowed him to reach first. A big turn past the bag left Rizer out in no-man’s-land, though, and he was doubled off the bag and tagged out. The next two batters struck out, and Oklahoma State’s shut down inning was complete.
Jake Guenther hit an opposite field home run in the ninth inning, his ninth dinger of the season, to cut the deficit to 5-2. Guenther, the recently tabbed Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, wasn’t originally slated to play on Wednesday night but wound up starting and playing the whole game.
Guenther’s home run was all TCU could come up with in the ninth, as the Frogs fell to the Cowboys by the official tally of 5-2.
The Frogs now head to the elimination bracket. They’ll take on Oklahoma at 12:30 on Thursday afternoon. You can watch that game on Fox Sports Southwest.