An inconsistent stretch continued for the TCU baseball team over the weekend, where the Horned Frogs dominated their series opener against Oklahoma on Friday before conceding consecutive losses on Saturday and Sunday to drop their first Big 12 Conference set of the season. TCU (10-9, 1-2 Big 12) has lost five of its last eight games dating back to a midweek contest against UT-Arlington on March 7. The Horned Frogs will return home to begin a five-game stand at Lupton Stadium, where TCU will face Abilene Christian on Tuesday night.
Friday: TCU 13, Oklahoma 5
The Horned Frogs compiled five multi-run frames during Friday’s series opener in Norman, scoring three runs in the second inning and two runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Shortstop Brayden Taylor blasted a two-run shot down the right-field line in the second inning, sparking a three-home-run series for the Preseason All-American. Freshman catcher Karson Bowen launched a solo shot of his own in the sixth inning, igniting a three-run frame that gave the Horned Frogs an 8-1 advantage over the Sooners.
Third baseman Cole Fontenelle smacked a two-run double in the eight inning to put TCU ahead 10-1 over the Sooners. Fontenelle recorded three doubles in the game, finishing 3-for-6 with three RBIs to lead the Horned Frog offense in the win. Right fielder Austin Davis went 2-for-5 with one double and two RBIs, while left fielder Logan Maxwell went 4-for-4 with three runs scored after drawing the start in the series opener over Luke Boyers. Right-hander Ryan Vanderhei earned his second win of the season for TCU, throwing five innings and overcoming four walks to allow only one run on three hits with two strikeouts. Right-hander Cohen Feser recorded the final out to extend his scoreless inning streak.
Saturday: Oklahoma 3, TCU 1
Freshman right-hander Kole Klecker took the ball on Saturday and continued his strong start to the season, taking a scoreless outing into the fifth inning before Oklahoma took a 2-0 lead on a two-run triple. Klecker struck out four batters over five innings, allowing three hits. Freshman left-hander Ben Abeldt followed with back-to-back frames of shutout relief, striking out five batters to keep the Horned Frogs within striking distance of the Sooners.
TCU earned one run back on Taylor’s solo shot in the top of the eighth inning. But the Horned Frogs struggled at the dish on Saturday, finishing with just two hits as the Sooners added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning to help clinch the victory. Right-hander Garrett Wright made his first appearance since TCU’s game against Missouri on Feb. 19, walking two batters and throwing two wild pitches over one third of an inning. One of few veteran arms in the Horned Frog bullpen, TCU will need Wright to round back into form if the team hopes to have success in the Big 12 Conference this season.
Sunday: Oklahoma 7, TCU 5
Defensive errors were once again an issue for the Horned Frogs on Sunday, with TCU committing three of them as the Sooners rallied to take the series with a four-run effort in the seventh inning. Only three of the seven runs allowed by TCU pitchers were earned, as Oklahoma scored on errors in the fifth and seventh innings. The Horned Frogs led early in the game, scoring twice on an RBI double from Bowen and a bunt single from Maxwell in the fourth inning, where an error from the Sooners allowed Bowen to come home.
Taylor’s seventh home run of the season gave TCU a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. Right-hander Cam Brown kept the Sooners off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, where Oklahoma plated two runs on a fielder’s choice and an error to bring the Horned Frogs within one run. Brown went four and one-third innings, striking out two and allowing two runs on four hits. Freshmen Louis Rodriguez and Ben Abeldt combined for two and two-thirds innings of relief, conceding five runs with only one run being earned. Right-hander Luke Savage tossed a shutout frame in the eighth inning, adding two strikeouts.
Bowen’s huge weekend at the dish continued in the top of the seventh inning, where the freshman slapped a two-run single to score Tre Richardson and Austin Davis to put TCU ahead of the Sooners 5-3. But an error from Richardson led to four unearned runs for Oklahoma in the bottom of the seventh inning, where the Sooners regained the lead and kept it for the remainder of the game. Bowen went 2-for-5 with three RBIs for the Horned Frogs, who totaled seven hits and left eight runners on base during the loss.