Second baseman Tre Richardson stole the show for the TCU baseball team during Sunday afternoon’s NCAA Fayetteville Regional contest, belting two grand slams in the first two innings and tying a postseason record with 11 RBIs as the Horned Frogs crushed the hosting Arkansas Razorbacks 20-5. Richardson went 5-for-6 and finished with three homers for the Horned Frogs (39-22, 13-11 Big 12), who’ve officially eclipsed their win total from last season while clinching a berth in the regional finals, which will be played tomorrow evening.
The first of Richardson’s two grand slams gave TCU a 4-0 lead over the Razorbacks in the top of the first inning, where right fielder Austin Davis slapped a two-run single to cap off a six-run frame for the Horned Frog offense. Richardson’s second grand slam, another outside pitch pounded the opposite way and over the right-field fence, was part of a five-run effort from TCU in the top of the second inning that put the Horned Frogs ahead of Arkansas 11-1.
Fireworks continued from the Horned Frogs in the top of the third inning, where third baseman Brayden Taylor crushed a three-run homer into deep right field and extended TCU’s lead to 14-1. Taylor went 4-for-6 with four runs and four RBIs for the Horned Frogs, who were undeterred after the game was delayed twice due to lightning in the area. Right-hander Sam Stoutenborough pitched through the first delay and ultimately lasted six innings for the Horned Frogs, striking out five batters without a walk while holding Arkansas to four runs. Stoutenborough earned the victory and improved his record to 4-0 this year.
TCU held a 14-3 lead entering the top of the sixth inning, where Richardson went to the opposite field one more time on a two-run homer for his ninth and 10th RBIs of the afternoon. The Razorbacks sent a pair of solo shots over the fence in the sixth and seventh innings, but Arkansas was too far behind to mount a serious comeback in the game. The Horned Frogs, who recorded 21 hits in the game, continued to attack in the later frames, with freshman catcher Karson Bowen notching an RBI single in the top of the seventh. RBI singles from Richardson and first baseman Cole Fontenelle, combined with an RBI groundout from designated hitter Kurtis Byrne, resulted in three ninth-inning runs.
Right-handers Hunter Hodges and Mason Speaker closed out the victory for the Horned Frogs, with Hodges striking out one in the seventh inning before Speaker tallied five strikeouts across the eighth and ninth innings while keeping the Razorbacks off the scoreboard. Center fielder Elijah Nunez went 4-for-5 with three runs, while Bowen went 3-for-4 with four runs and freshman shortstop Anthony Silva went 2-for-6. Davis finished with two RBIs and Fontenelle recorded two hits to aid the TCU offense in the win on Sunday.