Cam Brown struck out seven and David Bishop provided some power as TCU handled Stephen F. Austin 11-1.
TCU scored their 11 runs on just seven hits, taking advantage of a wild first inning that saw them draw six consecutive walks.
Stephen F. Austin’s starting pitcher, Dayton Dewberry, who didn’t record an out before being pulled. The freshman walked the first five batters of the game, pushing across two TCU runs, prior to getting the hook.
TCU’s first inning didn’t stop there, as Lumberjack reliever Benny Emmons III immediately walked Tommy Sacco to continue the trend. Reed Spenrath and Kurtis Byrne then hit back to back sacrifice flies, extending TCU’s lead to 5-0.
Cam Brown didn’t mind the break, as he came out in the second and provided a classic shut down inning.
“I just went under, sat down for a little bit in a warmer spot, threw a couple plyo balls into the wall.” Brown said when asked what he did to stay loose during the long inning.
“Didn’t do a fantastic job of getting myself hot and ready to go the next inning but it was definitely something that I learned from and I’m going to be able to carry that forward throughout the rest of the year.”
The Frogs added to their lead in the second inning, when Bishop singled through the right side of the infield to bring home Elijah Nunez.
Meanwhile, Cam Brown was in complete control on the mound. After a leadoff walk in the first inning, where even he admitted that he was “amped up” a little too much, Brown retired nine consecutive batters, including striking out the side in the third.
The sophomore worked hard this offseason to become an arm TCU could rely on, and through one start the progress is clear.
“This offseason was huge for me,” Brown said after the game. He noted that becoming more in tune with the mental side of the game and his self-confidence is where he grew the most. “I want to help our team have success. The only way I’m going to be able to do that is if I believe in myself as much as my team believes in me.”
TCU grew their lead to 7-0 with Byrne’s second sacrifice fly of the game, coming in the sixth inning. Byrne hit one deep to center, driving in Tommy Sacco.
Bishop broke things open even more in the sixth, driving a fastball over the right field fence for his first career home run. The freshman first baseman now has a team-leading nine RBI through the first four games of the season.
Sam Thompson added insult to injury with a solo home run in the eighth. Garrison Berkley reached base on an infield error and was driven in by Bishop for his fifth RBI of the night with a single up the middle.
Bishop credited his hot start to “not trying to do too much,” and he’s thankful for the opportunities he’s gotten early on.
“Coming in as a freshman, you’re skeptical about playing time.” Bishop said, “You don’t know if you’re going to get playing time, if you do, you’re grateful for the moments that you do.”
“I’m just really blessed to have an opportunity to showcase my skills and be an impact on the team.”
The Frogs relinquished a run in the top of the ninth, when freshman Cohen Feser gave up a single to center after putting a few men on base, but he worked his way out of the frame with a strong combination of off speed pitches to close out the win for TCU.
TCU has now gotten four strong starts from their starting arms to open the season. Austin Krob, Riley Cornelio, Brett Walker, and now Brown have combined for 24 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched, with just two earned runs allowed.
“That’s four really good starts in a row for us now,” Kirk Saarloos said after Tuesday night’s win.
“That gives us a great opportunity every time we play.”
TCU’s game Wednesday night against UTSA has been postponed due to inclement weather, so the Frogs’ next game will come this Friday at 6pm, when they take on Nebraska at Globe Life Field.
Watch the full postgame press availability below: