If TCU Baseball wants to win the Big 12 tournament, they’ll have to do it the hard way following a 5-3 loss against Texas this evening.
Marcelo Perez was on the mound for the Frogs, and aside from one bad pitch, he was lights out. He finished the game with 6 strikeouts in 7 innings pitched, but unfortunately for the Frogs, that one bad pitch cost ‘em 3 runs in the top of the first.
The Longhorn’s Murphy Stehly blasted one out to left field to put the Horns on the board early but got nothing more than a pair of singles off of Perez after that.
“They got a pitch and did something with it, so hats off to them. He [Perez] settled in and did a phenomenal job, especially in a tournament like this,” said head coach Kirk Saarloos.
After the 1st inning homer, both teams bats struggled to find a rhythm. The Frogs were 1-16 hitting as a team through the first 5 innings and ended up finishing 4-29 on the day. The first and only time the Frogs strung together some hits and walks was in the bottom of the 8th, down 5-2.
With bases loaded and two outs, the Frogs ended up stranding all three. A sweat-inducing bases-loaded situation was a fitting way to cap off an eventful 8th inning, as Saarloos was ejected from the game.
With Luke Savage on the mound and a Longhorn runner on first and third, the umpire called a balk. What exactly the ump saw? No clue. Kirk Saarloos felt the same way considering the decision handed UT a run.
When asked if he felt like the balk was the right call, Saarloos responded: “I’m not going to go into that. It’s up for discretion. What I think is one thing and what he thinks is something else. It’s a judgement call.”
After yelling from the dugout about the bogus balk call, Saarloos motioned to Savage to walk the next batter, who just so happened to be Ivan Melendez, one of the best hitters in the conference. Saarloos joked after the game, saying “I think I should have been ejected if I let Ivan Melendez hit with a base open.”
A simple hand gesture to his player should be no problem, right? Well, not according to the ump, who immediately ejected Saarloos after assuming the gestures were directed towards himself.
UMP SHOW!! After a balk is called on @TCU_Baseball , HC @kirk_saarloos makes a call to the bullpen that the home plate umpire misinterpreted the hand gesture and immediately tosses him— Fungo Talk Podcast (@FungoTalkPod) May 27, 2022
It was a crazy sequence of events, and Saarloos had every right to be furious.
After a tough break on the bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the 8th, the Frogs needed some Lupton Magic to travel with them to Arlington for the 9th. Sadly, the magic is still on its way to Globe Life as the Frogs only notched one run off a Gray Rodgers solo shot with two outs.
Rodgers also had a single in the third to finish as the only multi-hit Frog of the day. Tommy Sacco and Elijah Nunez both had one hit to round out the tally.
Of course, no one likes losing to Texas, but the Frogs live to see another day. A win tomorrow would advance the Frogs to Saturday’s games where they would face Texas again, and would have to beat the Horns twice in a row in order to reach the championship game.
In other words, it’s a win-or-go-home situation tomorrow. In a season full of adversity, the Frogs welcome the challenge.
“There is no special recipe in terms of showing up the next day and having some different plan,” said Saarloos. “It’s about getting good pitches to hit, and hitting those good pitches when you get ‘em, and doing a really good job on the mound and defensively. There’s no huge rah-rah speech, it’s play baseball tomorrow, and we got a great opportunity against a great Oklahoma State team.”
TCU will face Oklahoma State this Friday at 3:15 p.m. CST at Globe Life Field. The game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.