“It’s a complete and utter embarrassment by our pitching staff,” said TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle. “That’s not who we would like to be, it’s not who we have been, and it remains to be seen who we are.”
Mitchell Traver (2-1) stepped in for injured Horned Frog (29-8, 10-4) ace Jared Janczak after spending the majority of the season out with a back injury. Traver dominated in his four outings entering Saturday, recording a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and just two walks.
Traver’s start on Saturday did not go the way his first four starts did though, as he managed to get just four outs while allowing four runs on three hits and four walks. Traver was charged with a run in the first after issuing two, two out walks and a single. He came out for the second inning and got just one out, giving up a solo home run, two walks, and a single.
The TCU bullpen, starting with Charles King, provided little relief behind Traver. King entered with two on and one out in the second and allowed two more runs to score on two singles and a walk to make the score 5-0. He returned for the third inning and let the first two runners reach base on a hit by pitch and a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Austin Boyles was called on from the bullpen with two in scoring position and one out.
Boyles gave up an RBI ground out, but limited the damage and stranded a runner on third. He came back out in a 6-0 game for the fourth, but gave up three runs on four hits including a three run homer.
Trey Morris came on in the fifth in a 9-0 game, but he gave up three runs on three hits, including a home run, and a hit by pitch in the frame.
In the sixth, Morris gave up one run as a leadoff double came around to score after a ground out and a sacrifice fly.
Baylor scored for the seventh straight inning in the seventh to make it 16-0, as Morris gave up his fifth, sixth and seventh runs on the Bears’ fourth home run of the day. Morris’ ERA bloomed from 4.32 to 6.86 after just three innings of work.
Cal Coughlin and Austin Boyles each threw a scoreless inning in the eighth and ninth innings.
After not recording a hit until a Cam Warner single in the fifth, the Horned Frog offense made a little noise in the seventh.
Cam Warner drove in his team-leading 35th run with two outs on a single and Ryan Merrill hit a three run home run, his fourth of the season, to make it 16-4.
The Frogs tacked another run on in the ninth to make the final score 16-5.
“It was an awesome day by Baylor, and a really poor day by TCU, but it only counts as one loss,” Schlossnagle said. “It felt like four cause it took forever to get over with, but it is one loss. We get to decide how we respond to it.”
The Frogs and Bears will play the rubber game of the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with TCU’s Brian Howard (5-2, 4.82 ERA) and Baylor’s Cody Bradford (4-2, 4.42 ERA) on the mound.