Outfielders power TCU past Texas Tech, 6-4
The Frogs took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. With bases loaded for the Frogs after a hit by right fielder A.J. Balta and two consecutive walks to designated hitter Michael Landestoy and center fielder Johnny Rizer, shortstop Adam Oviedo cleared the bases with a first-pitch double down the third base line to left field.
The Red Raiders responded with a groundout RBI by second baseman Gabe Holt, taking one from the Frogs making it 3-1 in the top of the third inning.
The Red Raiders cut TCU’s lead to 3-2 after two walks from the Frogs’ starting pitcher Nick Lodolo in the fourth inning. They continued to work their way back and took their first lead of the night in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Grant Little. The Red Raiders were being no-hit through the first three innings.
Lodolo came into this game ranked second in the Big 12 with 63 strikeouts. He added five more strikeouts on the night after going 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs.
The Frogs took the lead right back in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run home run to right field from Balta.
Rizer hit a one-out solo home run to the same spot as Balta’s to pad the TCU’s lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth. The pair of home runs from Balta and Rizer were each their second of the season.
TCU was aggressive on the base paths, attempting to steal whenever they could off of Red Raiders starting pitcher Davis Martin. Texas Tech had only thrown out seven of 54 runners coming into this series.
“It was all about Martin,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We knew he had a really good pickoff move, but he’s also got a really slow leg to home plate. I think that’s everybody’s plan for a guy like that.”
Right-handed pitcher Sean Wymer came in for the Frogs and recorded five strikeouts, going three-and-two-thirds innings before Durbin Feltman came in for the Frogs to close the game in the ninth.
Feltman had a one-two-three inning sealing the win for the Horned Frogs that put the closer into a tie with Riley Ferrell for the all-time saves record with 32 career saves.
TCU is now 13-6 all-time against the Red Raiders at Lupton Stadium, and they moved to 21–17 on the season and 15-7 at home.
Red Raiders blank Horned Frogs, 6-0
Sophomore pitcher Charles King got the nod to start Saturday’s game and began with a strong first two innings, allowing only one hit.
The wheels came off the wagon for King quickly as Texas Tech broke the scoreless tie in commanding fashion in the third inning. A five-hit, four-run third inning was the difference-maker in tonight’s contest.
The Red Raiders scored their first run on a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring catcher Braxton Fulford. After the out, three consecutive hits from Texas Tech scored three runs by Holt, Little and third baseman Josh Jung before a groundout and flyout got the Frogs out of the inning.
With two runners in scoring position, first-year pitcher Caleb Sloan replaced King in the fifth inning. King allowed four runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
The Red Raiders extended their lead in the top of the sixth inning. Brian Klein’s double scored Gabe Holt from second base, giving Texas Tech a five-run lead.
Klein travelled around the diamond and scored on a groundout from Little three batters later. His run put the Horned Frogs down six runs, a major test for the Frogs against TTU’s incredible pitching.
Sloan allowed two runs on two hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Sophomore Trey Morris replaced Sloan in the seventh inning and kept the Red Raiders scoreless.
“They both did fine,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought Caleb looked really good even though he gave up a couple of runs. It was the most he had to pitch in a while.”
Schlossnagle said Sloan is a major piece of TCU’s future.
“It’s great to see him pitch in this environment against a really good team,” Schlossnagle said.
The biggest storyline from Saturday’s contest was the play of Texas Tech’s starting pitcher Caleb Kilian. Kilian threw 101 pitches in six innings, allowing only one hit and whiffing nine Horned Frogs. He only allowed one hit, preventing any kind of attack from TCU.
“Everything he threw was awesome,” Schlossnagle said. “His breaking ball had great depth and guys weren’t getting good looks at it. He pitched outstanding and we couldn’t match it on the mound.”
The first-year was replaced by junior Ryan Shetter in the seventh inning. He kept the Frogs in check, not allowing a hit in his three innings of action. Shetter struck out four Horned Frogs and only walked two.
The win broke a three-game losing streak for the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech’s last one-hitter that they pitched was back in February of 2012 against Missouri State. This was TCU’s second consecutive weekend featuring a game with only one hit from the Frogs.
Baseball takes series against No. 4 Texas Tech with a 9-5 win
TCU upset the fourth-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders Sunday afternoon behind an outstanding performance from sophomore reliever Jake Eissler.
Eissler relieved starter Haylen Green in the 5th inning after Tech hit an infield single to lead off the inning. At the time, TCU held a 7-5 lead in the game, and Eissler did more than just maintain that lead, he dominated a potent Texas Tech lineup.
Eissler threw five perfect innings in relief, striking out a career-high 11 batters.
“There’s not a whole lot of pitching left and we have a 5-game week coming up, so we needed somebody to extend the game and Jake did a great job of that,” Schlossnagle said.
It was not easy for the Frogs, though. The Red Raiders struck for four runs in the first capped by a two-RBI single by Michael Davis as Haylen Green struggled early on.
TCU answered with a run in the bottom of the first but a Jung solo home run in the 2nd gave Tech a 5-1 lead.
Green settled down and found a rhythm as he and Eissler shut down a Texas Tech offense hitting .313 as a group and scoring over 8 runs a game.
Meanwhile, the TCU bats came to life and the Frogs came roaring back. The Frogs plated three runs in the 2nd, one in the 3rd, and 2 more in the 4th.
Shepherd led off the 3rd inning with a home run to tie the game at 5, and Watson led off the 4th with a line drive home run of his own to give TCU their first lead.
The offenses cooled off after a chaotic start, until the 7th inning when Balta and Rizer each drew a bases-loaded walk to extend TCU’s lead to 9-5.
Texas Tech’s pitchers walked 14 batters in Sunday’s game as a staff, including starter John McMillon who walked 3 in just an inning and two-thirds of work.
“Our guys would’ve certainly had every opportunity to give in after the first inning,” Schlossnagle said. “But we knew that McMillon was a guy that struggles with a command, and that was at least going to give us baserunners.”
TCU has a pair of mid-week games before a non-conference series against Lamar this weekend. The Frogs will travel to Abilene Christian Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. and then welcome Dallas Baptist to Lupton Stadium Wednesday, May 2.