The Horned Frogs launched a pair of two-run home runs in the decisive fifth inning Saturday, riding the big bats of Gene Wood and Conner Shepherd to a 8-4 victory over no. 2 UCLA in Southern California.
The Frogs, who managed just one run Friday night against USC, game out hot Saturday afternoon, scoring three in the first and once in the second to jump out to a 4-0 lead over the Bruins. Sam Thompson got the scoring started with a lead-off base hit, advancing to second on an error and third on a wild pitch. He scampered home on a Zach Humphreys single. Hump stole second and advanced 90’ on an off-target throw by the Bruins’ catcher. After Gene Wood walked and stole second, Gray Rodgers singled to right to make it a 3-0 ball game.
Thompson had a hand in the fourth run of the game as well, tripling and scoring on Humphrey’s sac fly. Meanwhile, Charles King was cruising, allowing four hits through the first three innings while striking out three. UCLA would get to him in the fourth, through, cutting the Frogs’ lead to just one after a four hit, three run frame.
That’s when the big bats came out for TCU.
Two different UCLA pitchers gave up a two run shot, as both Gene Wood and Conner Shepherd launch home runs in the inning. Wood’s came with no body out and Zach Humphreys, who had walked, at first, while Shep went to right scoring Gray Rodgers. The Bruins cut the lead to four in the bottom of the fifth, but King did a great job limiting the damage thanks to a double play.
King got two outs in the bottom of the six before being lifted for Austin Krob, who allowed a base hit before a one pitch fly out ended the inning, stranding two. Krob pitched a perfect seventh and a 1-2-3 eighth that included two strikeouts. Krob retired seven straight before issuing a walk to open the bottom of the ninth, and finished the night with five strikeouts. Green and Krob were huge out of the bullpen the last two nights, saving the staff, while the Bruins needed seven pitchers Saturday alone.
TCU had 12 hits on the day, including the two home runs, a double and a triple. They drew six walks and struck out just five times. UCLA had nine Ks and committed three errors.
Next up for TCU Baseball is no. 5 Vanderbilt, who has lost two in a row to the Bruins and USC. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM CST Sunday.