Brandon Williamson continued his strong stretch Friday night, saving the Horned Frogs’ season and ensuring they would at least have a shot to knock off the red hot Cowboys as they look to make it to Sunday’s Big 12 Championship tilt, spurring a 5-2 victory over Baylor.
The junior transfer pitched seven strong innings against one of the conference’s best offenses, as his team never trailed across the two day affair. Though it wasn’t the fireworks of the opener, TCU struck first, scoring three runs in the third inning to give them all they would need for the 5-2 win. The Frogs opened the frame with three straight hits; after Adam Oviedo opened the inning with a single, Hunter Wolfe tripled him home, and scored himself on Josh Watson’s base hit through the right side. Watson took second on a wild pitch, and after Johnny Rizer advanced him to third on a groundout, he scored on an Austin Henry single up the middle.
Baylor threatened in the bottom of the inning, leading things off with a triple. A sacrifice fly brought home the Bears’ first run of the game to make it 3-1, but the Frogs got that run right back in the top of the fourth, when Andrew Keefer tripled with one out and scored on a wild pitch to stretch the advantage to 4-1. There would be no more scoring until the seventh - which would be the final inning of Friday night. Baylor switched pitchers in the inning, and reliever Luke Boyd struck out the first two Frogs he faced. But Wolfe walked with two down, took second on another wild pitch, and was brought home for the second time by a Watson base knock. The Bears scored for the second and final time in the bottom of the inning on a Josh Bissonette solo shot, but two more strike outs and a fly out got Williamson out of trouble.
The Frogs’ starter finished the night having allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out nine and walking just one. Having thrown 102 pitches, his day was likely done, but Mother Nature ensured that was the case when the rain came in in a big way, causing a delay that would stretch into morning. When things resumed, Haylen Green was on the bump, facing one batter, getting one out, and turning the ball over to Cal Coughlin. The junior submariner, who has had an up and down year, came through, allowing two hits in 1.2 innings of work to earn the save.
TCU stays alive and will face Oklahoma State this afternoon in an elimination game, with first pitch scheduled for 12:30pm. They would have to beat the Cowboys twice Saturday to keep their tournament championship - and playoff - hopes alive. Waiting on the other side of the bracket for whoever survives the pool will be either Big 12 Champion Texas Tech or expected Regional host West Virginia. It’s not an easy path for Jim Schlossnagle and co, but it’s doable.
Now it’s time to see what they can do.