TCU baseball dropped the first game of their final series of the season, losing 3-2 to University of Texas at Austin Thursday night.
The loss was headlined by the Horned Frogs repetition of unforced errors, which included four walks, four hit batters and two errors.
The team outhit the Longhorns, 6-5, but stranded five on base and failed to record a hit in six of the nine innings.
The Longhorns scored their first run of the night in the bottom of the second after first baseman Jake McKenzie grounded out to third, scoring DJ Petrinsky from third. Petrinsky reached base on a leadoff double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt.
In the bottom of the third, TCU starter Nick Lodolo hit the leadoff batter and walked the next one. Centerfielder Austin Todd would score from third on a sacrifice fly to give Texas an early 2-0 lead. The Longhorns scored in the inning despite not getting a hit.
Texas left fielder Masen Hibbeler would add on what would become the deciding run with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Outside of the home run, Lodolo gave up just five hits and two earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched.
Sophomore Charles King came on in relief and gave up no hits or runs in 2.1 innings pitched, keeping the deficit to three and allowing the Horned Frogs to save their bullpen for the rest of the series.
On the other side of the diamond, Texas starting pitcher Nolan Kingham struck out six and gave up two runs in a complete game effort.
“I thought he was unbelievable the way he attacked,” Texas Manager David Pierce said of Kingham. “He wanted the ball all night and he was making quality pitches. Nolan did a great job. Lodolo did a great job. Just two great kids going at it.”
The Horned Frogs were unable to piece together a rally against Kingham until the seventh inning when AJ Balta lead off with a solo home run to end the shutout and cut the deficit to two.
Johnny Rizer recorded a fly out that was then overturned by the umpires and ruled a double. The ball was determined to have come out of the glove of centerfielder Austin Todd, who dove to make the play.
TCU capitalized on this ruling with a Connor Wanhanen single up the middle, which scored Rizer from third, making it a 3-2 ball game.
However Wanhanens single would be the team’s last hit of the game, as their final seven batters went down in order to Kingham to end the game and put them at 10-11 in Big 12 play.
Horned Frogs cough-up early lead, fall in heartbreaking fashion, 5-3
TCU baseball jumped out to an early lead in the first inning of Saturday’s contest against the Longhorns but could not overcome the hard-fought offensive attack from Texas, surrendering a walk-off victory to the Longhorns, 5-3.
The Horned Frogs held a 3-0 lead following the first inning. Junior left fielder Josh Watson doubled and moved to third on a Balta base hit. Two consecutive walks to senior designated hitter Michael Landestoy and Rizer put the Frogs on the scoreboard. An errant throw from Texas scored two more runs for the Frogs.
Texas got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning and sophomore pitcher Jake Eissler was able to keep the damage at one with a strikeout, flyout and groundout.
The Longhorns tied the ballgame in the fifth inning after a two-run home run by second baseman Cody Clemens. Junior reliever Sean Wymer took over for Eissler to close out the fifth inning.
Eissler allowed three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings, walking one and fanning five. Sean Wymer tossed four shutout innings, striking out six.
TCU had plenty of opportunities to rack up insurance runs in the contest but left 10 runners on base and produced no significant offensive attack following the first inning.
The Frogs saw a heartbreaking ninth inning Friday night when Clemens hit his second two-run homer of the night in walk-off fashion.
Horned Frogs fall in regular season finale
A five-run fourth inning proved to be the difference maker Saturday as the Longhorns exploded to defeat the Horned Frogs in the regular season finale, 7-3.
Clemens continued where he left off Friday, opening up the first inning with a tw0-run bomb over the fence to begin the scoring.
The Frogs cut their lead in half in the third inning with a home run from sophomore third baseman Conner Shepherd, his seventh of the season. In the fourth inning, Shepherd’s two-out single tied the game at two.
In the Longhorns’ fourth-inning explosion, they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times. The biggest blow in the inning was the two-run double from Duke Ellis to conclude the onslaught.
Following the five-run inning, pitching from the Horned Frog relievers kept the Longhorns off the scoreboard. The pitching trio of Austin Boyles, Russell Smith and Cal Coughlin pitched three scoreless frames and combined to allow just two hits and five strikeouts.
As with Friday night, the Horned Frogs had plenty of chances to get back into the game but could not push baserunners past home plate. The Frogs were able to load the bases in the seventh inning but hit into a double play to end the inning.
Rizer opened up the eighth inning with his third home run of the season, but that would amount for TCU’s final score of the regular season.
With the loss, TCU concludes the regular season with a record of 30-22 and 10-13 in Big 12 action.
The Big 12 Conference Tournament will begin Wednesday with the Horned Frogs in the sixth seed and will take on Texas Tech Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The tournament will be held at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.