Unfortunately for the Frogs, it didn’t get too much better from there.
An Elliott Barzilli throwing error helped A&M score two more runs in the opening frame, and TCU proceeded to go down in order in their offensive half.
Although starting pitcher Mitchell Traver was able to settle down in the middle innings, preventing the Aggies from scoring again until the sixth, A&M padded their lead with three more home runs in the later innings and evened the Super Regional at one game apiece with a 7-1 win.
TCU was shut down at the plate by Kyle Simonds, who pitched a gem of a game for Texas A&M. Simonds neutralized any threats from the Frogs, striking out six batters and forcing TCU to strand six runners on base while he was on the mound, most of which were in scoring positions.
Simonds was pulled after throwing 7.2 innings, allowing just four hits. He was responsible for TCU’s lone run, which came when Evan Skoug singled off of Jace Vines to score Austen Wade in the 8th.
“Mitchell did great and kept us in the ball game, but again, it’s way more about Simonds than it is about anything on our end,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said postgame. “I thought he was just really good.”
“Even when we had chances to maybe scratch for a little bit, he made better pitches or they made plays. So credit should go to them.”
On TCU’s end, Traver said he wasn’t taken out of rhythm by the leadoff home run.
“It was elevated, and he put a good swing on it, so credit to J.B. Moss,” Traver said. “They put good swings on baseballs. One of them was elevated, and the other ones were in good spots.”
Traver performed admirably for the next four innings, as he didn’t allow another hit until the sixth.
That hit, however, was a home run from Jordan Moroney that extended the A&M lead, and after surrendering another double, Traver exited.
Michael Barash and Hunter Melton each hit homers in the seventh inning off of Sean Wymer to provide insurance runs that Simonds would never come close to needing.
Now, with the Super Regional tied at 1, the Frogs will have to win a winner-take-all game to advance to Omaha and the College World Series.
According to Schlossnagle, the mindset won’t have to change much.
“You can’t make it anything more than it is — it’s just a ballgame,” Schlossnagle said. “As soon as [Michael} Landestoy struck out [to end the game], the score became 0-0.”
“These guys just have to play sound baseball. It’s that simple.”
The Frogs will throw Brian Howard tomorrow, who is fresh off a sterling performance in the final game of the Fort Worth regional. Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said he hasn’t decided on who he’ll start on the mound.
First pitch for tomorrow night is scheduled for 8 p.m.