During the last few seasons of TCU Baseball, seeing the Horned Frogs drop out of D1Baseball’s Top 25 was like seeing Adam Frazier strikeout; pretty damn rare.
That’s where we were for a full month.
It ended this week, with the Frogs earning a No. 25 ranking, and the Frogs’ first game as a ranked team since the week of March 13 ended in success.
The No. 25 Horned Frogs defeated the Abilene Christian Wildcats 7-5 on Tuesday night, April 11, in a midweek non-conference matchup at Crutcher Scott Field in Abilene. The Horned Frogs used a four-run fourth inning to propel themselves to the victory, as well as a solo home run from Luke Boyers in the eighth inning to give them an insurance run.
The Wildcats did open the scoring in the first inning with a run on two hits, however, TCU quickly tied the game in the second inning with a run of their own. Anthony Silva doubled to lead off the inning, and he would later score on a ground out by David Bishop.
In the third inning, Cole Fontenelle put the Horned Frogs ahead 2-1 with a sacrifice fly. However, it was the fourth inning where TCU did most of their damage. The Wildcats’ pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, allowing TCU to work six walks and score four runs. Elijah Nunez, Boyers, Tre Richardson, and Fontenelle all collected RBIs in the inning.
Abilene Christian attempted a comeback in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring two runs each to pull within one run, 6-5. However, Boyers’ solo home run in the eighth gave TCU some breathing room, and from there they held on for the 7-5 victory.
Louis Rodriguez, after giving up two runs in the sixth inning, struck out the side around a hit batter in the seventh. Hunter Hodges came in to pitch the eighth inning, stranding a runner at third. Ben Abeldt pitched the ninth inning and picked up his first career save, pitching around a lead-off hit batter.
River Ridings came in to relieve starter Braeden Sloan in the fifth inning with runners on the corners and one out. He allowed a hit and struck out one to earn the win. Sloan allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1⁄3 innings.
The Horned Frogs drew three bases-loaded walks in the fourth inning, the “Stat of the Game”; they also homered for the 27th time this season, stole multiple bases in 20 games this season, played errorless baseball for the 15th time this season, and registered double-digit strikeouts for the 15th time this season.
Boyers had a great game, hitting his sixth home run of the season and the 13th of his career. He collected his eighth multi-hit game of the year and the 35th of his career, as well as his seventh multi-RBI game of the season and the 24th of his career. Richardson stretched his hitting streak to six games, Brayden Taylor reached safely in now 12 straight games, and Fontenelle reached safely in 26 straight games. Fontenelle also tallied his ninth career multi-RBI game, while Silva stretched his hitting streak to 14 games and tallied his 10th career multi-hit game.
The Horned Frogs improved to 21-12 on the season and will open a four-game homestand on Friday night as they take a weekend break from conference play to host UNC Wilmington for three games at Lupton Stadium.