TCU mercy rules UT-Rio Grande Valley in 13-0 shutout

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The TCU Horned Frogs picked up exactly where they left off in Houston by defeating the UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros 13-0 Tuesday night in a shortened, seven-inning game.

The NCAA Run Rule caused the game to end after the top of the seventh inning because TCU lead by more than ten runs after the Vaqueros had come up to bat seven times.

The win improves the Horned Frogs’ record to 4-1 at Lupton Stadium and 7-1 overall.

The Frogs scored early and often, with their first two runs of the game coming after the team’s first two at-bats. First baseman Connor Wanhanen walked to lead off the game, and second baseman Cam Warner connected on a 2-2 pitch that sent the baseball sailing over the wall in right center for his first home run as at TCU.

“I thought that Warner’s home run early in the game took some pressure off and we took advantage of how many times they walked us,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

In the third inning, TCU broke the game open by scoring seven runs, including a bases-loaded triple by third baseman Elliot Barzilli, which turned into an inside-the-park home run after a throwing error by UTRVG left fielder Joseph Collazo.

In TCU’s four-run fifth inning, Horned Frogs freshman phenom Luken Baker padded his offensive numbers with a two-run RBI single to go along with his three walks, one of which occurred with the bases loaded that drove in outfielder Ryan Johnson from third base.

Another component of TCU’s dominate performance was the solid pitching by freshman starter Dalton Horton, sophomore reliever Drew Gooch, and freshman reliever Dalton Brown.

“I thought Horton really pitched well once he settled into a groove and we’re definitely going to need that before the season’s over,” Schlossnagle said. “As we have these mid-week games and the competition increases, he’s going to have to pitch really well for us — or somebody is.”

Horton pitched four shutout innings, struck out a couple batters, and only gave up three hits. Gooch pitched an inning and two-thirds, but was relieved by Brown after loading up the bases.

Brown struck out UTRVG catcher Austin Douglas to escape the bases-loaded jam in the top of the 6th inning, while also pitching a perfect seventh inning to end the ball game.

TCU’s win increased their winning streak to seven, which left the team feeling good about their play.

“I think anytime you see you’re scoring runs and you hit balls hard and they fall in and you hit balls not so hard and they end up falling in, it’s easy to have confidence from that, so the guys are feeling good about themselves and they should,” Schlossnagle said. “We just have to keep our blinders on and continue to play good baseball and everything will take care of itself.”

The Horned Frogs return to Lupton Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Friday night to open up a three-game series against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.