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TCU sweeps Liberty as bats get on track

Frogs are now 5-2 on the season.

TCU Baseball vs Texas Southern | February 23, 2021 | Lupton Stadium (Fort Worth, TX) Melissa Triebwasser

TCU baseball made quick work of Liberty over the weekend, sweeping the Flames out of Lupton thanks to opportunistic bats and excellent relief pitching.

Forced to play in a double header Saturday to avoid potential bad weather on Sunday, TCU’s marathon day saw them close out the Flames in blowout fashion. Here’s the rundown of the weekend.

Game 1: TCU 4, Liberty 1

TCU got 2-run home runs from Hunter Wolfe and Zach Humphreys, and that’s all they’d need to dispose of the Flames in game 1. Johnny Ray got the start for the Frogs, and had a decent outing, but showed some of the same control issues that plagued him in the opening weekend as well.

It’s clear that Ray is still working on the transition to being a starter, and he was definitely improved on Friday night, allowing just one run. It took him 91 pitches to get through 4.2 innings of work, but lucky for him Haylen Green came on and did Haylen Green things.

Green retired 13 of the 14 batters he faced through 4.1 innings, striking out four and really just closing the door on any possible Liberty comeback.

Game 2: TCU 9, Liberty 2

The bats came alive in the first game of Saturday’s double-header. Powered by a four run fourth inning that saw Conner Shepherd work a bases-loaded walk on an 11-pitch at bat, followed by a single from Elijah Nunez that cleared the bases.

Clutch hitting was the name of the game for TCU in this one, as five of their nine runs came with two outs. Back-to-back two-out doubles from Phillip Sikes and Conner Shepherd extended TCU’s lead in the 5th inning, and the floodgates opened wide in the 7th with three more runs.

Russell Smith went three innings in his start on the mound before giving way to Charles King who went the rest of the way. King needed just 71 pitches to get through his six innings of work, striking out five and allowing just three hits.

Game 3: TCU 12, Liberty 2

TCU clinched the sweep in the second game of Saturday’s double-header, absolutely blasting Liberty and never looking back.

Austin Krob provided the best starting effort of the three for TCU over the weekend, going six full innings, allowing six hits, just one run, and striking out five. Phillip Sykes, Brayden Taylor, and Kurtis Byrne all tallied three RBI in the win.

Sikes got the scoring started in the first inning with a two-run double, and TCU never let the lead get away from them.

This was also the only game of the series where TCU used more than one arm out of the bullpen. Drew Hill, River Ridings, and Garrett Wright combined for three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four.

TCU moves to 5-2 on the season, and prepares to host Stephen F. Austin this Tuesday at Lupton. After Tuesday, TCU heads down to Houston to participate in the Shriners’ Classic, a tournament they’ve been familiar with over the years.