Frogs take 2 of 3 from Cal to close out regular season

Frogs take 2 of 3 from Cal to close out regular season

By Branson Nelson

The No. 7 ranked Horned Frogs closed out a 39-14 regular season with a series win over California this weekend.

Game One: TCU 3, Cal 0

Arguably the biggest story of Thursday’s series opener was the return of Frog ace Jared Janczak. Janczak’s first outing in over a month saw him move to 7-0 on the season with three perfect innings of work with four strikeouts.

Nick Lodolo, who had stepped up into Janczak’s top starter role, came on in relief in the fourth inning and matched Janczak with three scoreless innings of his own.

The Frogs jumped ahead in the top of the first inning with Evan Skoug’s 16th home run of the season to put the Frogs in front 1-0. The homer was Skoug’s fourth straight game with a long ball.

TCU added another run in the second when Nolan Brown singled to open the inning and eventually scored on an error.

The final run of the game came across in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Cam Warner that scored Connor Wanhanen.

Sean Wymer tossed scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth before Durbin Feltman set down the Bears in order in the ninth for his 13th save of the season.

Game Two: TCU 5, Cal 4

Brian Howard got the start for the Frogs in game two on Friday, going six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits to move to 8-3 on the season.

Cal got the scoring started in the bottom of the third after the Bears got two straight singles to start the inning that turned into a run.

Down 2-0 after Cal tacked a run on in the fifth, the Frogs’ bats had tallied just two hits off Cal starter Jared Horn through five innings.

In the sixth, TCU scored five runs to jump in front 5-2. The inning was highlighted by a Warner solo home run, a two-run double for Michael Landestoy and a two-run homer by Austen Wade.

Cal picked up back-to-back singles off Howard to start the seventh, chasing him from the game in favor of Cal Coughlin. Coughlin allowed one of the runners to score but stranded the other runner to keep the game 5-3.

After Coughlin shut down Cal again in the eighth, Feltman came on for his second straight save opportunity. Feltman allowed two hits and a run in the ninth, but stranded the tying run to pick up his 14th save and close out a 5-4 win and a series victory.

Game Three: Cal 8, TCU 3

Mitchell Traver started the regular season finale for the Frogs and gave up just one run on a third inning solo home run in 4.2 innings of work while recording four punch outs.

TCU evened the game at one in the top of the sixth on an RBI ground out from Warner, but five runs on five hits and an error against Charles King in the bottom of the inning pushed Cal ahead for good.

Cal tacked on single runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth, sandwiching a two run frame by the Frogs in the top of the eighth to create the final score of 8-3.

The Frogs finish the regular season 39-14, a record that likely will give them a top-eight national seed in the NCAA tournament. The top eight seeds get the luxury of home field advantage in both the regional and super regional rounds.

TCU will look to boost its postseason resume in Oklahoma City at the Big 12 Conference Tournament starting on Wednesday. The Frogs will open the tournament at 4 p.m. against the Kansas Jayhawks. TCU took two of three from Kansas in Fort Worth in the middle of March.