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UTA 8, TCU 7: Late-inning rally falls short

The Horned Frogs struggled in the field during Tuesday’s nonconference defeat.

TCU baseball suffered its first midweek home loss of the season on Tuesday, conceding a six-run lead before a late-inning rally ultimately fell short in the team’s 8-7 defeat against UT-Arlington. The No. 10 ranked Horned Frogs (7-5) will host a nonconference series with San Diego this coming weekend. Left-handed freshman Braeden Sloan started and took the loss, allowing five earned runs over just one and two-thirds inning pitched.

California transfer Sam Stoutenborough entered in relief and kept the Horned Frogs in the game, striking out five batters and allowing two runs, both unearned, over three and one-third innings. The unearned runs came on an error by freshman catcher Karson Bowen, running TCU’s error total up to a staggering 18 for the season. The Horned Frogs currently hold a lackluster .962 fielding percentage and average 1.5 errors per game at the moment.

Right-handers Mason Speaker and Justin Hackett tossed three consecutive innings of shutout relief to close the game, combining for two strikeouts. TCU trailed 5-0 before an RBI double from second baseman Tre Richardson resulted in the first Horned Frog run of the game. Despite a solo blast from first baseman David Bishop in the fifth inning, two unearned runs in the fourth inning and a wild pitch in the sixth inning allowed UTA to take an 8-2 lead.

TCU’s comeback began in the seventh inning, where right fielder Austin Davis drew a bases-loaded walk before Brayden Taylor, who earned the start at shortstop with freshman Anthony Silva injured, brought another runner home on an RBI groundout. Bowen then reached on an infield single to third base, making the score 8-5 in favor of the Broncos. Richardson smacked an RBI single in the eighth inning to plate another run for TCU.

The Horned Frogs came within one run during the ninth inning, where Cole Fontenelle entered the game as a pinch hitter and belted a first-pitch, run-scoring double before advancing to third on a wild pitch. With the tying run at third base, left fielder Luke Boyers struck out in the final at-bat of the game, allowing UTA to escape with the one-run win. Boyers continues to work his way out of an early slump, however, finishing 3-for-5 with three singles in the game. Bowen, Richardson and center fielder Elijah Nunez each had two hits.