Another weekend brought another offensive explosion for TCU baseball, as the Frogs put up 30 runs in three games at the Shriner’s Classic in Houston.
After dominating their first two opponents, TCU was unable to finish their second-straight weekend with a sweep, as Sam Houston State walked them off in the tenth inning on Sunday.
The weekend was not in vain, though, as the Frogs showed that they can consistently produce on the offensive side of the ball while simultaneously getting strong pitching from deep in their bullpen.
Outfielders Elijah Nunez, Phillip Sikes and Luke Boyers led the way at the plate for TCU, collecting five hits each over the course of the weekend.
Head coach Jim Schlossnagle also earned his 700th win as the leader of the Horned Frogs baseball program.
After a powerful start by the Islanders, TCU rode big nights at the plate from their upperclassmen to a 15-5 run rule of Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the 7th inning of Friday’s game.
Seniors Hunter Wolfe and Zach Humphreys combined for five hits and six RBIs, as both players went yard at Minute Maid Park as part of the Frogs’ offensive explosion in the latter half of the game.
The win was number 700 for Schlossnagle, who holds an impressive .673 win percentage in his 18 years at the helm of the Horned Frogs.
After TCU took an early 1-0 lead in the second on a wild pitch, things looked bleak for the Frogs in the third, as the Islanders sent 10 to the plate and scored five to take a commanding lead.
Four of A&M Corpus Christi’s runs had come with two outs.
Despite the deficit, TCU looked undeterred in the next half inning, trimming the Islanders’ lead to two on Wolfe’s home run following a triple by freshman Brayden Taylor.
After the Frogs tied the game at five with back-to-back multi-base hits in the fourth, Humphreys hit a bomb to left field in the fifth that put TCU up by two and started the monstrous scoring run that would end the game two innings early.
Finally, in the seventh inning, TCU scored three-straight runs courtesy of A&M Corpus Christi (a hit by pitch and two walks), before Taylor and Humphreys batted five more runs in to end the game via the 10-run rule.
After starter Charles King had struggled early, relievers Haylen Green (2/3 inning) and Drew Hill (3 2/3 innings) pitched a shutout the rest of the way for the Frogs, giving up just three hits and a walk. Hill earned the win to improve to 1-0.
As a team, TCU tallied 14 hits in just seven innings, reaching the double-digit hit mark for the fourth time this season.
TCU run-ruled their second-straight opponent on Saturday, earning a 10-0 win over Sun Belt-favorite Texas State behind a dominant pitching performance by starter Russell Smith.
In his six innings, Smith gave up zero runs, two hits and a walk while striking out a career-high 13 runs.
On the offensive side, the Frogs scored a run in six of the eight innings played, as nine different players recorded a hit in TCU’s 12-hit effort.
Center fielder Phillip Sikes had one of his best days at the plate this season, collecting three hits and two RBIs, including a two-run double to give the Frogs a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
From there, TCU continued to pour in a steady supply of runs, scoring in five-straight innings and getting multiple runs in two of those innings.
Right fielder Luke Boyers scored on two occasions during that span, with the first coming on a Wolfe sacrifice fly and the second on a Taylor triple.
For the second-straight game, TCU then closed their opponent out before the ninth inning, putting up three runs in the eighth to reach the 10-run mark and close out the Bobcats.
River Ridings and Dalton Brown came on in relief of Smith, pitching a scoreless inning each.
After leading through 6 1/2 innings, TCU gave up three runs to Sam Houston State in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday, ultimately losing 6-5 to the Bearcats in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Frogs got a timely double play in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings, but after TCU left a man standing in the top of the 10th, Sam Houston followed a leadoff walk with a walk-off double to end the game.
The loss ended a seven-game win streak for TCU, one in which they had outscored their opponents 79-13.
Early on, it looked like the Frogs might be headed towards their third run-rule of the weekend. Though TCU’s first three offensive innings, Sam Houston had committed three errors, giving up two unearned runs on top of the Frogs’ one earned run.
TCU would capitalize again on Bearcat mistakes in the top of the 6th, getting another run on a wild pitch after SHSU had scored two on a single in the bottom of the fourth.
Things got out of hand for the Frogs in the bottom of the seventh, though, as the Bearcats scored three runs with two outs to take a 5-4 lead and officially give TCU their first real scare of the weekend.
It appeared like the Frogs had momentum after tying the game to force their first extra-inning game of the year, but they were unable to capitalize on a lead-off walk in the tenth, eventually leading to their walk-off loss.
Five guys pitched for TCU (each giving up at least one hit), with Garrett Wright taking the loss. Reliever Haylen Green took the most heat, giving up five hits and three earned runs.
TCU will get a chance to get back on track in San Marcos on Tuesday, as they take on Texas State for the second time in four days. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.