TCU baseball finds success in five-game stretch

The high winds were not the only thing that blasted through Fort Worth last night. The No. 11 TCU baseball team returned to town following a series of road games Tuesday night to open a five-game stretch at Lupton Stadium.

From start to finish, the game was action-packed with powerful swings, quick base running and solid plays. The Horned Frogs were matched up against the University of Texas Arlington Mavericks. Dating back to 2004, the Horned Frogs have won 14 in a row against the Mavericks. TCU won the first meeting this season, 15-2, on the road in Arlington at Clay Gould Ballpark. The Mavericks entered the game with a win from their last game Sunday; however, UTA could not hold TCU, and the Frogs took the win 10-3.

The Horned Frogs started right off the bat. Taking the mound for his second start of the season, lefty pitcher Paul Gerrish had a strong start with three scoreless innings. At the plate, sophomore Jason Coats doubled to left field. Matt Curry, the senior who leads the team with 27 RBIs, followed with an RBI single to right field and Coats scored to put the Frogs on the board first. After two quiet innings, the magic at the plate started up again.

At the top of the fourth inning, the Mavericks took charge of the game. With the Horned Frogs clinging to a 1-0 lead, UTA scored a pair of runs. Preston Beck led off the inning with a triple to center field and scored after Shane Hopkins’ RBI single to left center field. After two singles and a walk, first baseman Jordan Vaughn singled through the left side bringing freshman Cody Dyvig home for UTA to take the lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Horned Frogs answered back and changed the entire pace of the game. Curry advanced to third after freshman Josh Elander doubled down the third baseline. Jimmie Pharr reached second on a fielding error which scored Elander and Curry. By the end of the inning, Pharr was able to score himself and put TCU back in control with a comfortable 4-2 lead.

Senior Tyler Lockwood came into the game to pitch at the top of the fifth inning for TCU and lasted until the eighth inning when sophomore Walker Kelly stepped in to finish the game. UTA’s third run was earned when junior Michael Choice had an RBI single through the left side in the sixth inning. Choice scored shortstop Jesse Payne who led off the inning with a walk. Lockwood earned the victory pitching three innings, giving up seven hits and two runs with three strikeouts. For the rest of the game, TCU defensively dominated and kept the Mavericks from scoring.

UTA freshman right fielder Preston Beck was a home run short of the cycle. He doubled in the second, tripled in the fourth and singled in the fifth against TCU which was the force at the plate that allowed the Mavericks to outhit the Horned Frogs 13-11. However, TCU took advantage of six free bases given up by UTA and three errors that led to runs on the board for the Horned Frogs. Despite the high number of appearances by four pitchers throughout the game, TCU was still able to score three more runs in each of the sixth and seventh inning to easily put the game away.