TCU baseball successfully built on its series win over Cal State Fullerton last weekend, sweeping the Baylor Bears in Big 12 Conference action to continue a hot start to the month of May. Despite TCU’s struggles last month, the Horned Frogs (30-21, 11-10 Big 12) have won seven of their eight games this month and are getting hot as the regular season nears its conclusion. TCU will finish its lengthy homestand with a midweek matchup against Texas State on Tuesday before hitting the road for a conference series against Kansas State.
Friday: TCU 5, Baylor 1
Freshman right-hander Louis Rodriguez took the ball to start the series against the Bears, using 106 pitches to record his fourth consecutive quality outing since entering the weekend rotation. Rodriguez went six and one-third innings and struck out five batters while limiting Baylor to one earned run on three hits. The freshman has a 3.33 ERA with 18 strikeouts over his last four starts. Ben Abeldt, Cohen Feser and Garrett Wright combined to fire the final two and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball to secure the victory.
TCU took an early lead over Baylor, scoring one run on Brayden Taylor’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning before RBI doubles from Logan Maxwell and Tre Richardson made the score 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning. The Horned Frogs extended their lead after Kurtis Byrne’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the third inning and Taylor’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was the 41st career homer for Taylor, who launched his 42nd on Sunday. Taylor and Richardson each tallied two hits to lead the offense.
Saturday: TCU 2, Baylor 1
Due to weather in the Fort Worth area, Saturday’s contest was relocated to Globe Life Field in Arlington, where freshman right-hander Kole Klecker started for the Horned Frogs and twirled an excellent outing, completing seven innings while allowing just one earned run on three hits. The matchup turned into a pitcher’s duel, with TCU scratching two runs on a sacrifice fly from freshman catcher Karson Bowen and an RBI single from Luke Boyers. An RBI groundout from Baylor cut the TCU lead in half during the top of the seventh inning.
The Bears nearly broke the game open in the top of the eighth inning, drawing two walks from Horned Frog reliever Luke Savage and loading the bases after Garrett Wright took the mound. Wright successfully escaped the jam, however, ultimately throwing the final one and two-thirds innings while striking out three batters to earn his third save this season. Wright has been lights-out for the Horned Frogs over the last several weeks, lowering his season ERA to 2.21 with 24 strikeouts over 20 and one-third innings pitched. The veteran right-hander has also allowed only nine hits this season.
Sunday: TCU 10, Baylor 4
Veteran right-hander Sam Stoutenborough earned a weekend start once again and made the most of his opportunity, firing five and one-third innings with four hits and one run allowed to earn his second win this season. It was the longest outing of the season for the former California transfer, who helped TCU to a huge early lead after the Horned Frogs exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning. RBI singles from Cole Fontenelle and Karson Bowen preceded RBI doubles from Logan Maxwell and Austin Davis, which put the Horned Frogs ahead 5-0 before Kurtis Byrne’s RBI single capped off the frame. Brayden Taylor followed with a solo bomb in the bottom of the second inning.
Elijah Nunez padded the TCU lead with a two-run shot to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning. Taylor went 4-for-5 to spearhead the charge for the Horned Frogs, while Nunez went 2-for-4 and continues to gain steam from the lead-off hole. The speedy center fielder is hitting .448 since the start of this month after struggling mightily in April. Kurtis Byrne finished 2-for-4 in the win and has also caught fire for TCU, hitting .417 since May 1. An RBI groundout from freshman Anthony Silva netted the final run of the game for the Frogs.