Frogs record 2-1 series win over Kansas

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The No. 3 Horned Frogs emerged victorious in their first Big 12 series of the season, taking two of three contests from the Kansas Jayhawks at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth over the weekend. Here is all you need to know about what took place on the diamond.

Friday – TCU 3, Kansas 1 

The Frogs rallied in the game against Jayhawks for a 3-1 victory in their Big 12 opener Friday night at Lupton Stadium. Shortstop Ryan Merrill homered and drove in two runs to help lead the Horned Frogs to victory after a rough week in California. TCU improved to 5-0 all-time in Big 12 openers.

Starter Nick Lodolo struck out five of the last eight batters he saw, giving up a run on four hits and a walk. Lodolo threw for two outs in the sixth inning, his longest appearance of his five starts.

A RBI single by Kansas’ Mat McLaughlin in the third inning had TCU trailing 1-0, but the Frogs finally found some luck in the sixth inning. After Cam Warner reached on a one-out single, the Jayhawks walked Evan Skoug before Luken Baker was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Josh Watson. Watson’s base hit was stole from him by the left fielder’s diving catch, but Watson’s sacrifice fly brought in the tying run.

Kicking off the bottom of seventh, Merrill homered to right field, his second home run of the season and the third of his career. One inning later in the eighth, Merrill reached on a fielder’s choice and brought Watson home to give the Frogs a 3-1 lead.

Kansas threatened by loading the bases in the ninth with one out on a hit batter, a walk and a base hit. Durbin Feltman closed the game with a double play to lock up a much-needed victory for his fourth save of the season. Feltman improved to 13-for-13 in save opportunities in his career.

TCU turned three double plays in the game, the last one getting the Frogs out of base-loaded one out trouble to end the game.

Sean Wymer (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Lodolo with 2 ⅓ scoreless innings. Wymer had two strikeouts and only one hit.

Saturday – TCU 5, Kansas 1

Starting pitcher Jared Janczak (5-0) plowed through the Kansas lineup, retiring 24 of his first 25 batters faced. He pitched around a one-out throwing error by Ryan Merrill before giving up the no-hitter in the ninth.

Kansas pitcher Taylor Turski held his own through six innings but ran into trouble in the seventh following a leadoff single from Josh Watson. A walk and a base hit advanced Watson to third to give the Frogs a chance to put the first run of the game on the board. Merrill singled to right field to bring Watson home.

Shortly after, two stolen bases put runners in scoring position. Austen Wade hit a shot to left field to bring in two more runs for the Horned Frogs. Warner singled to advance Wade and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Up next to bat, Evan Skoug. Skoug ripped a double to left field to bring in the last two TCU runs of the game. The Frogs had a solid 5-0 lead over the Jayhawks to end the seventh.

Janczak’s no-hitter was broken up with a lead-off single in the ninth. With bases loaded and no outs, a fielder’s choice brought in Kansas’ only run of the game. Trey Morris took over the mound in the ninth and got a pop-up and a strikeout to close the game.

Sunday – Kansas 4, TCU 3

The Kansas Jayhawks avoided a sweep by No. 3 TCU with a 4-3 victory on Sunday at Lupton Stadium.

The game remained scoreless until Kansas brought in two in the sixth inning. With a runner on third and two outs, Jaxx Groshans singled up the middle to bring in the first run of the game. Another single by David Kyriacou brought in the second run of the inning to give Kansas a 2-0 lead over the Frogs.

This was the only game of the series that Kansas brought home more than one run.

To back up the runs, starting pitcher Jackson Goddard dominated the mound. Goddard pitched seven no-hit innings.

The Frogs drew six walks off of Goddard but failed to capitalize until Ryan Merrill drew the fifth walk of the game in the eighth. Connor Wanhanen shot a double to left center to put two runners in scoring position with one out before Kansas walked Austen Wade to load the bases. TCU’s first run of the game was brought in by a Cam Warner single to the shortstop. Wanhanen and Wade scored on a single through the right side by Evan Skoug. The Frogs had a one-run lead over the Jayhawks going into the ninth.

TCU’s first run of the game was brought in by a Cam Warner single to the shortstop. Wanhanen and Wade scored on an ensuing single through the right side by Evan Skoug, tying the game at three.

Just when Frog fans thought TCU might be en route to another comeback win, though, Kansas’ Own Taylor hit a one-out solo home run in the ninth inning to give the Jayhawks the lead once again at 4-3.

The Frogs threatened with a runner in scoring position after a lead-off two base error, but Kansas worked out of the jam to record the win.

TCU’s starting pitcher Brian Howard pitched 5 ⅔ frames. He allowed two runs on three hits, striking out four and walking three. Charles King took over the mound for 1 ⅓ scoreless innings. After giving up the solo home run in the ninth, Sean Wymer (1-1) took the loss.

The Horned Frogs played flawless defense for the fifth time this season but were simply outhit. This was the sixth time TCU has been outhit this season.

With the loss, TCU falls to 14-5 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 Conference play. The Frogs will travel to Abilene on Tuesday for a contest against Abilene Christian. Game time against the Wildcats in scheduled for 6:30 p.m.