TCU Baseball won their fourth consecutive ballgame Friday evening with a 2-0 victory over Lamar behind an impressive performance from sophomore pitcher Nick Lodolo.
Lodolo got the nod on the mound Friday night and registered a strong performance. Sitting at fourth in the Big 12 before the contest, he added 10 strikeouts to bring his season total to 78.
“I’ve preached all season that our strength was going to need to be in our starting pitching,” Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “I thought we had some really good at-bats tonight.”
Junior left fielder Josh Watson got the scoring started for the Horned Frogs with a two-out home run to right field in the third inning. It was the Frogs’ first hit of the night from someone besides senior right fielder A.J. Balta.
The Cardinals threatened in the sixth inning as shortstop Phillip Ingram and first baseman Robin Adams were able to advance to second and third. Lodolo’s eighth strikeout of the contest retired the side and got the Frogs out of a streak-threatening jam.
Lamar’s Tanner Driskell prevented any significant offensive attack from the Horned Frogs all night. He threw 60 strikes and allowed only five hits on the game. The only extra-base hit he allowed came on Watson’s homer.
Chet Jones replaced Driskell in the seventh inning after he hit sophomore catcher Zach Humphreys for TCU’s seventh baserunner of the night. The Horned Frogs put pressure on him immediately.
Jones faced Wanhanen first and surrendered a single to him as Humphreys advanced to second. Boulware’s first hit of the night scored Humphreys from second to extend TCU’s lead to 2-0. Jones settled down in the eighth inning and kept the Horned Frogs scoreless.
Fellow sophomore Cal Coughlin replaced Lodolo in the eighth inning. Lodolo finished the evening with five allowed hits in 7.1 innings pitched. Coughlin retired the first two batters he faced and earned the first save of his career.
“I was locating my fastball on both sides of the plate,” Lodolo said. “I had a good breaking ball tonight and could stick that in the batters mind.”
In TCU’s current four-game win streak, the Frogs have focused on three things: pitching, defense and timely hitting, according to Schlossnagle.
“These guys know where we are in the season and know what has to happen for us to play late into June,” Schlossnagle said. “I wouldn’t make too much of it yet. Hopefully, we can continue to play well.”
The shutout victory extends TCU’s current streak of scoreless baseball to 34.1 innings.
“We’re not giving as many free bases as before,” Lodolo said. “We’re all pitching well and attacking the zone.”
Three home runs power Horned Frogs past Lamar
TCU held on to take game 2 of the series against Lamar on Saturday, as a Wanhanen 2-run home run proved to be the difference in the Frogs’ 4-3 win.
Sophomore Jake Eissler got his first start of the year and dominated the Lamar lineup. Eissler retired the first 15 batters he faced before LF Avery George flipped a bloop single into right field to lead off the 6th inning.
Eissler then picked off George at first before getting a strikeout and a flyout as the right-hander faced the minimum in his solid six innings of work on Saturday. Eissler also struck out a career-high 12 batters.
Offensively, the Frogs used the long ball as they did on Friday night as well. Wanhanen’s 2-run homer, his first of the season, came in the 7th inning, giving TCU (26-18) a then 4-0 lead in the game.
Michael Landestoy and Watson also hit solo home runs to lead off the second and fourth innings, respectively.
That would be all for TCU though, as Lamar starter Noah Sills and reliever Chet Jones kept the rest of the Horned Frogs’ lineup quiet.
First-year Caleb Sloan went back out to the mound for the 9th inning after working a scoreless frame in the 8th. Sloan retired the first batter but walked the next two hitters.
Schlossnagle went to the bullpen, and called on Cal Coughlin for his second appearance of the weekend.
Coughlin walked the first batter he faced and suddenly Lamar (15-33) had the bases loaded with just one out in the 9th.
Coughlin, though, got Robin Adames to bounce into an RBI groundout, which was followed by a Cole Coker two-RBI single to trim the TCU lead to 4-3.
The sophomore right-hander barred down and struck out DH Logan Lejeune to end the ballgame, giving Coughlin his second save in as many nights.
Green’s one-hitter leads Horned Frogs to sweep Lamar
TCU swept the series against Lamar with an 11-0 win Sunday at Lupton Stadium with the help of sophomore pitcher Haylen Green.
Green became the fourth pitcher in school history to play nine innings with a one-hitter.
Green had a no-hitter in a seven-inning game as a first-year in high school so the idea of it happening again in today’s game ran through his mind.
“It popped in my head a couple of times but it was more of like a ‘Why are you thinking about that? Just stop’ because that’s how you jinx it,” Green said. “I was just going one inning at a time, one pitch at a time.”
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The first Lamar batter to reach base was on a two-out error in the fifth. Green’s first hit was allowed on a lead-off single by Chad McKinney in the ninth to break up the no-hitter, but he was erased on a double play ball.
The Horned Frogs got on the scoreboard early in the game when Humphreys scored off of Boulware’s two-out bases-loaded single in the bottom of the second. Balta scored off a two-out single from Humphreys to increase the lead 2-0.
A pitching change in the fourth would not stop Balta’s power. Jack Dallas was called to replace Jason Blanchard, but Balta hit a three-run home run to extend the Frogs’ lead even deeper to 5-0, scoring him, Boulware and Watson.
“A.J. had some really good hits today,” Schlossnagle said. “I don’t know where we’d be without him.”
Lamar’s second pitching change brought Taylor Rich on to the mound; however, it was all TCU in the fifth as the final six runs were scored.
The bases were loaded with two outs but Batla’s single into right field drove in Boulware and Oviedo. Junior center fielder Johnny Rizer’s RBI-single into center field extended the lead to 9-0. Wanhanen’s two-run single scored Landestoy and Rizer.
“I still think we can be better and we’re gonna have to be when the level of competition raises back in conference play next weekend,” Schlossnagle said as TCU prepares to host West Virginia starting Friday night in Lupton Stadium at 6:30 p.m.