The TCU baseball team came up clutch over the weekend, delivering two walk-off victories in a Saturday doubleheader before scoring a third win on Sunday for a three-game sweep over the Army Golden Knights. The Horned Frogs improved to 11-4 overall with a nonconference matchup against Texas A&M Corpus Christi scheduled for Tuesday. Here’s a weekend recap of the three-game nonconference series sweep for the Horned Frogs.
We were thrilled to welcome back to the field one of our own. Thank you for your service, Colonel Craig Flowers! Colonel Flowers was a TCU baseball letterman from 1983-85.#FrogballUSA | #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/S0TSmZc3Iq— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) March 12, 2022
Game 1: TCU 6, Army 4
Riley Cornelio earned the start for the Saturday opener, throwing five innings and allowing three earns runs while striking out seven Army batters. The Golden Knights took the early lead on TCU’s Military Appreciation Weekend, scoring one run in both the first and second innings before Army’s Sam Ruta belted a two-run homer in the top of the third innings.
The Horned Frogs bounced right back in the bottom of the third inning, with catcher Kurtis Byrne crushing a three-run homer over the left-field wall and bringing TCU within one run, 4-3. Freshman pitcher Cohen Feser relieved Cornelio in the top of the sixth inning and shut down the Golden Knight offense, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with four strikeouts.
TCU’s bats went cold until the bottom of the ninth inning, where the heroics began for the Horned Frogs. First baseman David Bishop and second baseman Gray Rodgers each reached base before right fielder Luke Boyers belted a three-run, walk-off shot to deliver the first victory of the weekend. Rodgers went 3-for-4, while Byrne and Boyers went 2-for-5.
Game 2: TCU 6, Army 5
The Golden Knights once again struck first, scoring two runs on a single and an RBI groundout against TCU starter Brett Walker in the top of the second inning. Bishop crushed a solo shot for the Horned Frogs in the bottom of the third inning, cutting the Army lead in half before the Golden Knights answered with RBI knocks in the top of the fourth inning.
Trailing 5-1, TCU saw its bullpen shine for the second straight game, with Caleb Bolden, Augie Mihlbauer, Storm Hierholzer and River Ridings combining to throw five and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief. The Horned Frogs began their rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, where back-to-back RBI hits from Bishop and Rodgers made the score 5-3.
An RBI groundout from Byrne brought Army within one run, setting Boyers up with another opportunity to play the hero for TCU. Boyers sent a 1-1 pitch to the third-base side, where an error allowed Rodgers to score and tie the game at 5-5. The game remained even after nine innings, but the Horned Frogs came through in the bottom of the 10th inning, with center fielder Elijah Nunez drawing a bases-loaded walk to seal the come-from-behind victory.
Game 3: TCU 5, Army 2
Left-hander Austin Krob took the ball for the Horned Frogs in the Sunday finale, throwing five innings and striking out six batters while allowing only two runs. Despite Krob’s effort, Army once again took the early lead, slapping a pair of RBI singles in the top of the first inning. But two bases-loaded walks to Nunez and third baseman Brayden Taylor in the bottom of the second inning allowed TCU to even the score at 2-2. Bishop then sent a sacrifice fly to center, scoring designated hitter Reed Spenrath to put TCU up 3-2.
The Horned Frogs added insurance runs in the fifth and eighth innings, with Rodgers delivering an RBI groundout to make it 4-2 and left fielder Logan Maxwell smacking an RBI double to plate shortstop Tommy Sacco and give TCU a three-run advantage. The Horned Frogs were stellar in relief for the third consecutive game, with Luke Savage tossing three shutout innings and Marcelo Perez closing out the victory with a ninth-inning save.
TCU currently sits at No. 21 in the college baseball rankings and will open Big 12 Conference action with a road series against Baylor on Friday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m.