Offense powers baseball team to fourth straight win

When baseball season began, the Horned Frogs and Texas Tech weren’t scheduled to play each other. By the conclusion of Monday’s game between the two teams, the Red Raiders were probably wishing it had stayed that way.

Fresh off a four-game road swing, the No. 16 Horned Frog baseball team toppled the Red Raiders 12-5 at Lupton Stadium on Monday before a crowd of 2,052.

The team improved its overall record to 23-10 with the win and remains in third place in the Mountain West Conference.

The Horned Frogs continued their recent dominance at the plate with 15 hits, four of them coming from junior designated hitter Matt Curry.

Senior second baseman Corey Steglich, who finished the game with three hits and two RBI, said the team’s offense is one of the best in the country.

“We were struggling there (offensively) for a little bit and we went down to Edinburg and had a pretty good offensive weekend,” Steglich said. “When we’re clicking we’re going to turn out 15 hits a game.”

Steglich had nothing but praise for his teammate’s impressive 4-for-4 performance at the plate.

“(Curry’s) a great hitter, one of the best in the nation when he’s on … hopefully he’s going to stay with it,” he said.

The Horned Frogs have belted out 42 runs in the last four games, all wins.

The Horned Frogs’ offense didn’t find its grove until the sixth inning when all nine batters went to bat and lit up Texas Tech reliever Robert Kilcrease for four runs and five hits. Kilcrease replaced starting pitcher Nathan Karns an inning earlier. Karns allowed four runs and walked five batters in 4 2/3 innings, but managed to keep the Horned Frogs at bay during the early part of the game.

“We couldn’t get the big hit,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after the game. “I thought Karns made a couple good pitches when he had to make them.”

Horned Frog starting pitcher Kyle Winkler earned the win after allowing three hits, two runs and three walks in five innings of work. Winkler improved to 3-0 on the season with the win.

Missing Monday’s action was starting shortstop Ben Carruthers. Schlossnagle said the senior might have suffered a broken hand at some point during the recent trip to south Texas and couldn’t swing the bat when he showed up at the field before the Texas Tech game. Although the X-rays on the hand were negative, Schlossnagle said the team is still waiting for the results of the bone scan.

The Horned Frogs will be back in action tonight in Norman against No. 10 Oklahoma. The Sooners won a March 17 meeting between the two teams 8-7. Conference play will resume when the team travels to Colorado Springs for a three-game series against Air Force starting Friday.

The Horned Frogs will return to Lupton Stadium for two games against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on April 21 and 22.