The No. 1 Horned Frogs got past the Sun Devils (4-3) using a late-inning rally, something Frog fans have become accustomed to seeing from their team in the last few years.
“We’ve got a veteran club, so they’ve been through this before,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Our guys do a good job of playing the full nine innings. There’s no difference between the eighth inning and the first inning in their mind. It takes experience to believe in that.”
The Frogs continued to work gritty at-bats and force their opponents to throw a lot of pitches, something that has been effective during the first seven games. After walking seven times in the series finale against ASU, TCU has drawn 43 walks on the season, averaging over six per game.
TCU threatened in the bottom of the first, drawing three walks off of Arizona State freshman LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc, but could not push anybody across the plate.
The next scoring opportunity for either team didn’t come until the top of the fourth, when Horned Frog starter Jared Janczak (2-0) used a double play ball to work around two one-out singles.
The game remained scoreless until the Sun Devils led off the top of the fifth with two singles leading to an RBI groundout by DH Tyler Williams and a run-scoring single from third baseman, Carter Aldrete.
Behind 2-0, the Frogs got one run back in the home half of the fifth after the No. 8 hitter, Mason Hesse, walked and the No. 9 hitter, Zach Humphreys, singled to left field. With runners on the corners, leadoff hitter Austen Wade hit an RBI ground ball cutting the deficit to just one run.
ASU held it’s lead until the bottom of the seventh, when the Horned Frog bats heated up. Freshman pitcher, Chaz Montoya, in to replace Van Scoyoc, walked Hesse to begin the inning. After Humphreys and Wade were retired, Elliott Barzilli smashed a ball down the third base line with two outs, just out of the reach of a diving Aldrete, scoring one and tying the game.
Barzilli had three extra-base hits and three RBIs in a 5-13 effort at the plate against the Sun Devils over the weekend, helping him break out of a mini-slump to start the year. He is now the No. 2 hitter in the Horned Frog lineup, a new role that he says he is settling in to.
“Definitely a different role, what I like about it is just more at-bats honestly,” Barzilli said. “I was struggling a little bit, but it’s a new role and I am getting used to it. I couldn’t be happier.”
Catcher Evan Skoug followed Barzilli’s two-out RBI double with one of his own on a soft fly ball that found the grass in shallow left center field.
With the Frogs leading 3-2, Luken Baker was intentionally walked before Cam Warner hit a rope on the first pitch into right center field scoring Barzilli and giving the Frogs a 4-2 advantage.
Sean Wymer worked a scoreless inning in the eighth after coming in to replace Janczak. Janczak pitched a season best seven innings allowing two runs on five hits, two walks, one hit batter and four strikeouts. Janczak lowered his ERA to 2.77 through 13 innings over two starts.
“It felt good, I was just pounding the bottom of the strike zone,” Janczak said. “I watched these guys for two days so I kind of watched their tendencies and what the were doing.”
The Horned Frogs added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with two outs on a run-scoring triple by Wade.
Schlossnagle called on sophomore closer Durbin Feltman to get the final three outs. Feltman let two reach base, but stranded them both and picked up his second save of the season.
The Horned Frogs will close out their home stand on Tuesday against in-state rival Rice.
“They have a great team. It’s always close games when we play those guys,” said Schlossnagle. “It should be a great night for the state of Texas baseball.”
Mitchell Traver will take the mound at Lupton Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m..