Horned Frogs sweep Shockers

The Horned Frogs continued to put their offense on display Sunday as they completed their sweep of the Wichita State Shockers.

“Wichita State came in this weekend and they kind of have had our number the last couple years now,” Vern said. “We were looking forward to this one and were ready to go.”

The team pushed a dozen runs across the plate during the team’s 12-3 victory. The Frogs scored 27 runs during the three-game series.

“We felt like we had a good offensive team coming in,” head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We got pitched to really well Wednesday, so that tells you something about Baylor’s pitching. Our execution on offense was outstanding.”

After giving up a run in the top of the first, TCU responded with five in the bottom half of the inning.

With the first two Horned Frogs retired in the inning, senior outfielder Chris Ellington ripped a double down the left field line. Junior designated hitter Matt Curry drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second.

Freshman outfielder Jason Coats drilled a double out to the wall in right-centerfield. Fellow freshman shortstop Taylor Featherston hit an infield single to the shortstop to put runners on the corners.

Senior firstbaseman Matt Vern hit his third home run of the series to right-centerfield to give the Horned Frogs a 5-1 lead.

Vern would end the series going 5-9 with three home runs, six runs and eight RBIs.

“I’m just trying to get good pitches to hit and when I get the opportunity, to drive the run in,” Vern said. “I was just trying to be selective and they were throwing me strikes so I just picked out my pitch.”

Schlossnagle said Vern is an outstanding hitter and he had a great series.

“That tells you, you got a pretty good offensive team when that guy is hitting seventh in your order,” Schlossnagle said. “He is certainly playing like a great upperclassman right now.”

He isn’t the only Horned Frog seeing the ball well right now as the team is averaging 7.9 runs per game this season.

“We have been hitting pretty well for most of the year,” Vern said. “Everybody on the team is swinging it good right now and we are having good approaches.”

After the Shockers scored two runs in the top of the third, the Horned Frogs responded immediately with a pair of runs for themselves.

Vern hit a one-out double to right-centerfield and then stole third to get 90 feet away from home. Junior catcher Bryan Holaday brought him home with a single through the left side of a drawn-in infield.

Senior centerfielder Corey Steglich executed a perfect hit and run to right field to put runners on the corners again.

Senior secondbaseman Ben Carruthers then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Holaday and get the Horned Frogs their four-run lead back.

The team doubled their lead in the fifth inning with a four-run outburst punctuated by a home run to left-centerfield by Ellington.

After the sixth inning, Schlossnagle took the opportunity with an eight-run lead to get some of the younger guys some playing time, something he said he had been wanting to do all season.

“We have a veteran team and al of those veteran guys are playing well, which means it’s hard to get younger players in the game,” Schlossnagle said. “I would love to get them some more playing time, but this ain’t basketball and we don’t have free substitutions so we have to look for opportunities to play them and they have to take advantage of them when we get them.”

Freshman outfielder Zac Jordan took advantage of the opportunity he had in the game by hitting an RBI single to centerfield scoring Carruthers for the game’s final run in the seventh inning.

Junior pitcher Paul Gerrish earned the win in relief by pitching 2 and two thirds scoreless innings.

The Horned Frogs will be in action again Tuesday when they travel to face Texas State, a team they beat 8-2 at home Feb. 25. The team will be home again Friday for a three-game series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.