Fort Worth, TX — TCU Baseball was not impressed by the red-hot hitting and stellar pitching of the Baylor Bears, who rolled into town to open Big 12 play as one of the conference’s best teams in both regards.
They leave Funky Town with inflated ERAs and deflated batting averages, as the Horned Frogs absolutely dominated them across a three game sweep that saw TCU pitching hold the Baylor offense to just three runs total.
Much like Saturday, TCU jumped all over Baylor starter Hayden Kettler, building q five run lead before the poor kid was able to record an out. The fun started when Elijah Nunez, who had a single and a walk in his last two at bats Saturday, tripled down the first base line. Phillip Sikes followed with a four pitch walk, and Brayden Taylor singled to bring them both home. Taylor stole second in front of Zach Humphreys, and an “interesting” defensive play on an attempted tag of Taylor put runners on second and third with nobody out in the first. Baylor thought they had Taylor tied up between second and third, but he was able to avoid the tag — a play that held up on review.
Gene Wood was the next batter and he made the Bears pay for the mistake, lifting a three run shot to right field to make it a 5-0 ball game. Hunter Wolfe walked on four pitches and Porter Brown — himself smoking hot since entering the starting lineup in place of Luke Boyers — singled, but a pair of strikeouts and a pickoff of Wolfe at second ended the four hit, five run frame.
Johnny Ray was extraordinarily sharp early, retiring the first ten batters of the ball game before issuing a one out walk in the fourth. He carried a no-hitter through four, before a solo shot to right center gave the Bears their first hit and run of the game.
It wouldn’t be nearly enough.
After stranding two in the second, TCU picked up the pace in the third, scoring five more runs in the third, as Wolfe and Brown singled and Tommy Sacco was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. After Rodgers hit a ground ball that ended in an out at home plate, Nunez roped a single through the right side to make it 7-0. With two out and two on, Brayden Taylor stepped to the plate and absolutely crushed a ball to dead center, putting three more runs on the board and setting up the Frogs nicely for the sweep.
After starting so strong, Ray started to falter a bit in the fifth, allowing a base hit and walking a batter in addition to the solo shot. After a leadoff double and a line out in the sixth, he was lifted for freshman River Ridings, finishing his day having allowed just one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. It wasn’t quite the overpowering performance of the week prior, but Ray was still really good and far better than he needed to be with all of the run support the Frogs gave him early.
Ridings gave TCU two innings of two hit ball while striking out a pair, continuing his really strong work out of the pen for the Frogs. Schlossnagle clearly has a lot of faith in the true freshman, and he has been a go to guy in a myriad of situations so far this spring. Meador was the next man up, coming on with one out in the eighth and got two quick outs to end the inning. Chuck King came on for the ninth and set the Bears down in order, striking out the first batter he faced and the final of the game.
The Frogs scored ten runs on 13 hits, out-scoring Baylor 24-4 over the three game series — and spreading those three runs equally across each matchup. Brayden Taylor (five RBI) and Gene Wood (three RBI) powered the offense, with eight of the nine starters collecting at least one hit on the day.
TCU hits the road for their next two weeks, with a road game Tuesday at UT Arlington and their next two conference series — Oklahoma and Texas Tech — on the road. First pitch at Clay Gould Ballpark is scheduled for 6:30pm Tuesday.