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TCU Baseball Series Recap: San Diego

The Horned Frogs suffer a blowout loss before winning Saturday and Sunday to take the nonconference series.


TCU baseball hosted a three-game nonconference series against San Diego over the weekend, suffering a blowout defeat on Friday before scoring close victories on Saturday and Sunday to claim the series win. The Horned Frogs (9-6, 0-0 Big 12) were outscored 19-10 despite winning two of the three games over the weekend. TCU will travel for a midweek game against Texas State before teeing off Big 12 action against Oklahoma on Friday.

Friday: San Diego 14, TCU 2

Right-hander Ryan Vanderhei endured his worst start of the season for the Horned Frogs, conceding six earned runs on five hits over three innings with five strikeouts. Relievers Calvin Marley and Justin Hackett didn’t fare much better, as Marley allowed three earned runs without recording an out while Hackett gave away three more runs over one inning. One bright spot on the mound was freshman Jax Traeger, who fired five innings of relief with four strikeouts, zero walks and only one run allowed in his collegiate debut.

San Diego scored 14 consecutive runs over the first five innings to open the game. TCU avoided the shutout after second baseman Tre Richardson slapped an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning and reserve outfielder Owen Blackledge brought another run home on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning. First baseman David Bishop went 2-for-3 for the Horned Frogs, who recorded seven hits in the loss on Friday night.

Saturday: TCU 3, San Diego 1

Third baseman Brayden Taylor blasted a solo home run to spark the Horned Frogs on Saturday, giving the team a 1-0 lead in the first inning. TCU extended its lead after center fielder Elijah Nunez smacked an RBI single into right field that scored Luke Boyers. Freshman Kole Klecker controlled the game on the mound, turning in arguably his best pitching performance of the season, firing seven innings while allowing just two hits including a solo home run that made the score 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

Freshman Louis Rodriguez entered in the eighth inning and hurled back-to-back shutout frames to earn his first collegiate save, striking out four batters along the way. TCU earned an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, where Richardson reached on an infield single to score Nunez. Richardson went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Taylor and Nunez each went 2-for-4 and Boyers drew two walks for the Horned Frogs, who had eight total hits.

Sunday: TCU 5, San Diego 4

Right-hander Cam Brown took the ball in the rubber matchup, allowing only one run over four and one-third innings with three strikeouts. The Horned Frogs trailed for most of the game but erased a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning, where a two-run blast from Taylor and a solo shot from right fielder Austin Davis gave TCU its first lead of the game. Catcher Kurtis Byrne joined the power party with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, helping the Horned Frogs take their largest lead of the afternoon.

California transfer Sam Stoutenborough and left-handed freshman Ben Abeldt kept the Horned Frogs ahead on the mound, with the two pitchers combining to throw four and one-third innings. Stoutenborough notched one strikeout and zero earned runs allowed, while Abeldt struck out three batters with two earned runs allowed. San Diego threatened in the ninth inning, scoring twice to bring the Horned Frogs within one before Rodriguez entered and recorded the final out of the game to record his second save in as many games.