We knew they weren’t going to go undefeated, but for times through the first five games of the 2020 season, TCU Baseball certainly looked near impossible to beat.
In their first road contest of the young season, the Horned Frogs were dominant once again, as Johnny Ray led the way to a 12-0 victory with a complete game shutout. Meanwhile, a TCU lineup that wasn’t expected to be all that powerful blasted three more home runs, giving them ten on the season.
Things were different Sunday, though, as starter Charles King struggled through 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. King surrendered two home runs, the first long balls of the Gophers’ season. Minnesota struck first, jumping out to a 1-0 lead through one and making it a 2-0 game after two. The Frogs bounced back, though, scoring twice in the third to tie things up.
Schlossnagle chose to roll Charles King back out in the bottom of the third inning, despite having a fully rested bullpen. The move would be the first of two questionable staff management moves, as the Gophers blasted a three run home run to the second deck to take a 5-2 lead. Once again, though, a resilient TCU lineup struck back, scoring three times with two outs thanks to Austin Henry’s bases clearing double. Again, though, King stayed in, and again, he was roughed up. The Golden Gophers hit three straight singles to score two more runs before Haylen Green replaced King on the mound and ended the inning with a double play.
The Frogs scored once more in seventh when Gene Wood was hit by a pitch and advanced all the way to third thanks to back to back wild pitches. He scored on Hunter Wolfe’s groundout to make it a one run game. TCU had the tying run on second in the ninth, but end the game on a strikeout — their 16th of the contest. The Frogs drew nine walks and had three doubles, but time after time, Minnesota pitchers got out of trouble with a big K.
Haylen Green threw 3.2 scoreless innings and Marcelo Perez pitched a one-hit eighth. TCU managed just five hits while the Golden Gophers notched 12. They left nine on base.
The series’ rubber match will be Monday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:15 PM.