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TCU Baseball Series Recap: Cal State Fullerton

TCU Baseball Series Recap: Cal State Fullerton

TCU baseball met a ranked, non-conference opponent, and knocked them out of this week’s D1Baseball rankings, when #24 Cal State Fullerton visited Fort Worth and Lupton Stadium, this past weekend. The Frogs conceded the first game of the series on Friday, before dominating in the final two Saturday and Sunday. TCU (27-21, 8-10 Big 12) has now won four of its last five games, with only seven games remaining on the schedule. The Frogs will welcome Baylor, returning back to conference play, this weekend.

Friday: Cal State Fullerton 2, TCU 1

Despite a generally fantastic start from Louis Rodriguez, in his third career start nonetheless, the Frogs couldn’t get anything going offensively Friday night. Rodriguez retired the first eight batters he faced, while the offense continually left baserunners on in the early innings, before back-to-back Rodriguez walks in the third killed the Frogs. After back-to-back hits, TCU was down 2-0 early.

The pattern of TCU leaving men on base continued, and when TCU struck out into a double play with runners on the corners, any momentum the Frogs may have had was squelched. After TCU scored its one run of the game off a Brayden Taylor lead-off home run in the sixth, Cole Fontenelle and Karson Bowen both got on base with one out, and the Frogs still couldn’t bring anyone home.

TCU had another chance in the eighth, after Anthony Silva got on with one out, but a double play ended that opportunity. Louis Rodriguez fell to 1-1 in the 2-1 loss.

Saturday: TCU 13, Cal State Fullerton 4

The Frogs attacked early on Saturday, leading by a commanding 4-0 by the end of the third inning. Brayden Taylor started it off with an RBI-single in the first, and Elijah Nunez tapped on a lead-off double in the third to jumpstart a three run third – Brayden Taylor, Anthony Silva, and Luke Boyers hit three separate RBI-singles.

Cal State Fullerton then started to get things going on starter Sam Stoutenborough (2 ER, 6 Ks, 4 ⅔ IP) , scoring three, two-out runs before TCU and Kirk Saarloos replaced him for Luke Savage. Savage then allowed a run through, and the Frogs found themselves back at a tie ballgame, with the score 4-4.

But – it was all TCU from there, scoring nine unanswered runs, eight coming in the eighth inning, to blow the barn doors off Cal State Fullerton. What’s even more impressive about that eight-run offensive output: with two outs in the eighth, 10 straight Frogs reached base, and not a single Frog homered. Pretty nuts.

Sunday: TCU 6, Cal State Fullerton 1

After Cal State Fullerton scored early, and the Frogs were shut out until the fifth, it looked like we may see a game similar to Friday’s stinker.

The Frogs quickly proved us wrong.

After entering the fifth inning down 1-0, Logan Maxwell’s triple drove in Austin Davis, and a wild pitch on the next at-bat allowed Maxwell to run home, giving the Frogs a 2-1 lead. Scoring four times on four hits in the sixth allowed us to feel a bit more comfortable. Brayden Taylor and Cole Fontenelle both reached with doubles, Karson Bowen hit an RBI single, and Kurtis Byrne picked up a two-RBI single, as the Frogs now led 6-1.

TCU was helped by spectacular pitching Saturday, as Kole Klecker struck out three in two innings, Cam Brown, who earned the win, struck out five in 3 ⅓ innings of relief, Cohan Feser retired the first 10 batters he faced, and Ben Abeldt, who came in to “close”, needed only one pitch to earn the game-sealing double play.