TCU Baseball dropped their first Big 12 series of the season after falling 5-2 in game 3 against West Virginia this afternoon.
The fans were out, the whoo birds were chirping at full force, and the umpires completely forgot how to do their job. On the bright side, it was a beautiful weekend for baseball at Lupton stadium.
Heading into the series, the Frogs had lost back-to-back games for just the 2nd time this season, which became the first 3-game losing streak after game 1 thanks to a debatable late-game call in the bottom of the 9th.
The Frogs bounced back in game 2 thanks to a 2-run bomb by Brayden Taylor in the bottom of the 6th which gave the Frogs their only lead of the series, giving the Frogs hope to claim the series in game 3.
Unfortunately, another rough start to the game and a slow day offensively dug the Frogs in a hole too deep to climb out of this afternoon.
Let’s take a look back at how this series transpired over the course of the weekend:
Game 1 was likely the most memorable of the series, as the Frogs’ late-game rally was cut short by a questionable strike decision called by umpire Mark Winters.
The fact that we even know Mark Winters by name should tell you how horrible of a call this was, but I digress.
It was a low-scoring, back and forth battle for both teams, but eventually, the Mountaineers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 9th putting the pressure on the Frogs.
TCU did an excellent job of staying patient and not succumbing to the pressure as they drew THREE walks to load the bases. With the bases loaded, two outs, and a full count, David Bishop took a pitch that appeared to be WAY outside but was called strike 3 by the ump.
WOW. West Virginia survives with bases loaded.— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast (@11point7) April 2, 2022
That ball looked so far outside. And hitter's reaction tells me everything I need to know. What a WILD 9th inning from Fort Worth. pic.twitter.com/CITxbRFTwB
You be the judge… but it’s rare you see a call like this in a game-deciding moment such as what the Frogs were facing.
Because of this bogus call, the Frogs dropped game one, but this wasn’t the end of the officiating antics.
The Frogs bounced back in game 2, showcasing they’re a team worthy of battling back in any situation, even a 3-run deficit in the 1st inning.
Cam Brown had a rough go on the mound, finishing less than a third of the inning with 3 batters walked, 1 hit by pitch, and 3 runs allows, but Marcelo Perez came in to relieve the pressure.
After a nightmare first innings, Marcelo Perez entered the zone, doing exactly what you’d hope for out of the bullpen and more. He pitched for 6.2 innings, giving up only 2 hits and 1 run with a solid 5 strikeouts.
Perez cemented himself as a potential weekend starter with this performance and gave the Horned Frogs’ offense a chance to bat their way back into the game.
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the 6th, Elijah Nunez secured 1 RBI before Brayden Taylor smashed a 2-run home run to give the Frogs the lead. Caleb Bolden, River Ridings, and Tommy Vail all made an appearance on the mound to seal the deal for the Frogs as they evened the series 1-1.
This game was… less than ideal to say the least.
The Frogs were out-hit for the 11th time this season after finishing with just 4 hits on the day, but this game was highlighted by yet another rough start pitching for the Frogs, and some questionable umpire actions in the dugout.
For the 11th time this season, TCU gave up 1st inning runs, which proved to be a huge factor in this one. The Frogs gave up 4 hits and 2 runs in the 1st inning alone, and after a couple of 3-up, 3-down innings, the Mountaineers added to their lead with 3 runs in the top of the 4th.
The Frogs got a couple of runs back spread throughout the 4th and 7th innings but left a hefty amount of runners stranded on base all throughout the ballgame.
Although the umpire’s antics didn’t necessarily cost the Frogs the game in this one, they were wildly outlandish. During a review situation, Mark Winters and Kirk Saarloos got into a rather heated altercation in the Frogs’ dugout.
Now exactly what was said is undetermined, but it’s wildly visible that Winters quite literally headbutted Saarloos in this exchange. Saarloos had every right to blow up towards the ump, and quite Frankly Winters is lucky he didn’t get sucker-punched.
Despite the wildly unprofessional display of officiating, the Frogs were simply outplayed in game 3, and couldn’t get enough offense going to eliminate an early deficit.
With this series loss, the Frogs’ overall record falls to 19-9 with a 6-3 record in Big 12 play.
TCU will be back in action this Tuesday in a road game against UTA before a HUGE road series against the 8th ranked Texas Longhorns.