TCU Baseball falters 6-2 to Stephen F. Austin

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The No. 5 Horned Frogs provided little resistance in a 6-2 loss at the hands of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks on Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium.

“We knew that they were really good,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said of SFA. “I told the team before the game that outside of Long Beach State, that is the best team we are going to play in a mid-week game.”

Charles King (0-1) made his first collegiate start against the Lumberjacks but did not make it out of the third inning and gave up three runs.

SFA took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, as they loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. King limited the damage as he induced a double play and picked up a strikeout to end the inning.

The Frogs went quietly in the bottom of the second, before SFA touched up the Frogs for four runs in the third. King started the inning on the mound and got the first two batters on six pitches. He then walked a batter and allowed a single, bringing Schlossnagle out of the dugout to put in Jake Eissler.

“I was hoping to keep King under 45 pitches,” Jim Schlossnagle. “If we were trying to have him be a starter and not pitch this weekend, I would have left him in the game because I felt like he was throwing OK.”

The first batter Eissler faced, Zac Michener, doubled home both runners to make the score 3-0. Eissler had let just one of seven inherited runners score entering the game. The next hitter, Josh Evans, hit a line-drive two run homer to right field to make it 5-0.

“Give them credit,” Schlossnagle said. “The two balls that he really left up the whole time were those two balls. A fastball up that Michener did a good job going the other way with and then a change up way up, and the guy hit it out of the ballpark.”

The Frogs threatened in the fifth, getting two runners on base with one out, but a double play ground out from Austen Wade ended the inning.

Eissler dominated the fourth through sixth innings for the Frogs, keeping them within five. He retired all nine batters over that span, striking out five.

Cal Coughlin relieved Eissler on the mound in the seventh and gave up an unearned run to push the Lumberjacks’ lead to 6-0. Coughlin got the first batter on strikes but loaded the bases after two walks and an error on second baseman Cam Warner. The run crossed the plate on a balk, just the third by TCU’s pitching staff all season.

The Horned Frogs’ bats made some noise in the bottom of the seventh with two outs to pull within four. Ryan Merrill slid head-first into first for an infield single to start the rally. Elliott Barzilli then walked to set up Wade for a two RBI double. The double was his team-leading 11th of the season, and he pushed his on-base streak to 27 games.

Despite a scoreless eighth for Haylen Green and ninth for Austin Boyles, the Frogs could not make a late push to put any pressure on the Lumberjacks.

The five freshman pitchers sent to the mound combined to give up six runs on just six hits. They walked four and struck out 13.

The TCU lineup equaled the six hits tallied by the Lumberjacks and drew five walks, but could not find timely hits.

TCU will look to rebound from loss in a hurry, as they head to Lubbock for a series against Texas Tech starting on Friday. Texas Tech is tied for second in the Big 12 with West Virginia, two games behind the Frogs. First pitch on Friday is at 7 p.m. Friday’s game will be televised on FS1, while Saturday’s (3 p.m.) and Sunday’s (1:30 p.m.) games will be on ESPNU.