After notching consecutive midweek victories against Abilene Christian and Northwestern, TCU baseball continued its recent success in with a three-game sweep over the Kansas Jayhawks in Big 12 Conference action over the weekend. The Horned Frogs (15-9, 4-2 Big 12) exploded for 40 runs in the series, with several players contiburing at the plate. TCU will shoot for its sixth straight win with a road matchup against UT-Arlington on Tuesday.
Friday: TCU 8, Kansas 6
A back-and-forth series opener went the way of the Horned Frogs on Friday, when second baseman Tre Richardson slapped a go-ahead RBI single and utilityman Cole Fontenelle reached on a fielder’s choice to bring another TCU runner home in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freshman Louis Rodriguez entered in the ninth inning, throwing a clean frame to earn his third save of the season. Relievers Sam Stoutenborough and Ben Abeldt combined for three and one-third innings of solid pitching in the win, with each player striking out two while Abeldt’s lone earned run came after veteran right-hander Garrett Wright entered and conceded a run-scoring single that tied the score in the top of the eighth inning.
Kansas held a 2-1 lead over TCU until Fontenelle blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to even the score for the Horned Frogs. The Jayhawks regained control with a three-run homer off TCU starter and former Kansas pitcher Ryan Vanderhei in the top of the fifth inning. Vanderhei’s outing was a mixed bag, with the right-hander striking out five but walking four and allowing five earned runs over four and one-third innings.
Trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, TCU exploded for four runs to sneak ahead 6-5. Outfielder Elijah Nunez sparked the rally, sending a two-run double into left field before Luke Boyers reached on an infield single to tie the game at 5-5. Richardson’s RBI single through the left side brought home Boyers and put TCU ahead for the first time.
Boyers went 3-for-5 with two runs at the top of the Horned Frog batting order, while Richardson went 2-for-5 with three RBIs out of the No. 2 hole. Fontenelle drew the start at first base, going 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs to lead the TCU offense. Nunez went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Horned Frogs, who totaled 15 hits in the victory Friday night.
Saturday: TCU 18, Kansas 5
Freshman catcher Karson Bowen cracked the Saturday game open with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the first inning. TCU followed with a five-run frame in the bottom of the second inning, where run-scoring hits from Bowen and Fontenelle along with some defensive miscues from the Jayhawks allowed the Horned Frogs to command an 8-2 lead. Freshman right-hander Kole Klecker turned in another dominant pitching performance, firing seven innings with five strikeouts while allowing only two earned runs.
Leading 11-5, TCU iced the victory with seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Right-handers Mason Speaker and Justin Hackett tossed the final two innings, with the freshman Hackett capping the win off with a scoreless ninth inning. Bowen went 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBIs to lead the TCU offense, while Richardson finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. Nunez and freshman shortstop Anthony Silva each recorded two RBIs.
Sunday: TCU 14, Kansas 0
The Horned Frogs closed out their Big 12 series against the Jayhawks with arguably their most impressive victory of the season on Sunday. After an RBI single from Fontenelle and two bases-loaded walks allowed TCU to take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, third baseman Brayden Taylor launched a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning to make the score 4-0. It was Taylor’s eighth home run of the season for the Horned Frogs, who saw infielder David Bishop smack an RBI single and Silva crack a three-run bomb in the bottom of the third inning to cap off a four-run frame that put TCU ahead of Kansas 8-0.
Right-hander Cam Brown twirled an excellent start for the Horned Frogs, throwing all seven innings while allowing only two hits and striking out eight batters. TCU went ahead 12-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, where outfielder Austin Davis belted a two-run single and Silva followed with a two-run double. A solo shot from Davis and another RBI knock from Silva scored the final two runs of the game for the Horned Frogs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Silva went 3-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs to lead the TCU offense in the win.
Davis went 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs, while Bishop went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Taylor reached base three times in the win, scoring three runs with two walks. TCU’s next Big 12 series will be played at Texas Tech this coming Friday through Sunday.