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Baseball: TCU wins NCAA Regional opener over Arizona

The Horned Frogs cruise over the Wildcats 12-4 on Friday evening.


Friday evening’s NCAA Fayetteville Regional contest was more of the same for the TCU Horned Frogs, who continued firing on all cylinders offensively in a 12-4 rout of the Arizona Wildcats. The victory moves the No. 2 regional seed TCU (38-22, 13-11 Big 12) into the semifinal round, where the Horned Frogs will square off against the No. 1 regional seed Arkansas, who also owns the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The semifinal game will be played this afternoon after a postponement due to inclement weather.

Third baseman Brayden Taylor continued to mash at the dish, totaling a team-leading six RBI as the Horned Frogs ran their winning streak to seven games on Friday. The Big 12 All-Tournament MVP belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, capping off a four-run frame that included an RBI single from freshman shortstop Anthony Silva. Taylor added a two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the second inning, giving TCU a 6-2 lead after Arizona struck first with a two-run shot in the top of the first inning.

Freshman right-hander Kole Klecker navigated through four innings after earning the start for the Horned Frogs, conceding three runs on four hits including two home runs while striking out five batters. Right-hander Luke Savage entered in relief and shut down the Arizona offense over the middle frames, throwing four innings with three strikeouts and only one run allowed. Right-hander Cohen Feser fanned two in the ninth inning to secure the win for the Horned Frogs, who compiled 17 hits on offense in their eight-run victory on Friday.

First baseman Cole Fontenelle put TCU ahead 7-3 with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning. RBI singles from Taylor and freshman catcher Karson Bowen in the bottom of the fifth inning extended the Horned Frog lead to 9-3. TCU iced the first-round win over the Wildcats with some explosive power in the bottom of the eighth inning, where designated hitter Kurtis Byrne pounded a two-run opposite-field homer and right fielder Austin Davis sent an RBI double into left field. Taylor led the Horned Frogs with four hits, while Bowen and second baseman Tre Richardson each finished with three hits.