TCU baseball finished their sweep of California with a 6-1 win on Sunday, marking their third straight series win to start the season.
The Horned Frogs pulled ahead by a run in the first inning after senior Zach Humphreys doubled and Hunter Wolfe drove in Gray Rogers on an RBI single.
The Bears threatened at the top of the fifth with a runner on first and third and no outs. Starting pitcher Russell Smith and the Frogs didn’t let the Bears take advantage while in scoring position, though, getting two strikeouts and a pop fly to end the inning.
Smith retired the first 12 batters he faced and allowed one earned run through 6.1 innings pitched. He fanned eight and didn’t walk a batter on the afternoon.
“I was really just attacking the zone with the fastball down and changeup late, seemed like they really were not picking up the changeup, so that was really the plan,” Smith said.
Gene Wood extended the lead for the Frogs in the bottom of the fifth. Wood doubled down the first baseline and brought home Humphreys. Sam Thompson singled in the sixth inning and scored on a Rogers RBI.
Cal cut into TCU’s lead in the top of the sixth inning on a throwing error when the Bears stole in a two-on two-out situation.
The Frogs added the final three runs of the game in the seventh inning. Wood scored on an error and Phillip Sikes hit a two-run RBI single down the first base line.
“We got a couple timely hits, and it’s a tough weekend to hit with the wind blowing the way it was,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
The Frogs held the Bears to just four hits and one run.
“It was a full team effort,” Schlossnagle said. “We played really good defense despite a couple missed plays today, but I think we showed the depth of our pitching staff.”
Schlossnagle was impressed with his starting pitchers all weekend.
“I have always said the game begins and ends with starting pitching,” Schlossnagle said. “For the most part, we are not giving up too many free bases. We are throwing a lot of strikes and making the other team earn what they get, and that’s a good recipe for winning baseball.”
The Frogs are undefeated at home, and Smith credits that to the fans.
The win keeps TCU undefeated at Lupton Stadium this season — their eighth win in eight tries. Smith attributes that success to the support from their fans.
“We have the best fans probably in the country or at least in the Big 12. They come out and support us well, and we play well for them,” Smith said.
The Horned Frogs are back in action at Lupton Stadium on Tuesday against UTA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.