‘We just shot ourselves in the foot’: No. 15 TCU falls to Missouri in extra innings


No. 15 TCU baseball falls to Missouri in the final game of the College Baseball Showdown on Feb. 19, 2023. (Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com)

By Charles Baggarly

“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” TCU Head Coach Kirk Saarloos said.

The Horned Frog offense battled through adversity at Globe Life Field on Sunday, but the Frog defense made too many mistakes. No. 15 TCU baseball fell to Missouri 9-8, failing to secure a weekend sweep of SEC opponents.

The Horned Frogs, throughout the contest, had five errors and several missed opportunities to make plays. The poor fielding prevented the Frogs from holding on to a four-run lead.

“You can’t give [teams] extra outs,” Saarloos said. “Really in any game but especially on a Sunday when you’re starting to get … thin from a bullpen standpoint.”

After Frog first baseman David Bishop tallied a two-RBI single to tie the ballgame and send the game to extra innings, TCU committed two errors, giving the Tigers the lead on a silver platter. Missouri held onto the lead, retiring the side in the final frame.

Bishop’s clutch hitting may not have won the game, but it kept the Horned Frogs alive. Saarloos credited Bishop, who tallied two hits and four RBIs on the day, for “keeping his hands back on a slider” in his final at-bat.

“[Missouri] came back and they did a really good job of kind of nickel and dimeing it to get back in the game,” Saarloos said. “And we could have folded shop, but I thought we had a really good ninth inning to be able to scratch a run or two runs across to be able to put [the game] in extra innings.”

On Friday and Saturday, the Frogs blew out their opponents, but against Missouri, the opposite rang true. Saarloos said teams “find out more about competitiveness” when engaged in a dogfight.

“You never want to lose the ball game,” Saarloos said. “But I liked how they competed, and I can tell that [the result of the game] meant a lot to them.”

Frogs start strong, concede four-run lead

Missouri struck first with an RBI double from right fielder Ross Lovich to secure an early lead in the first inning. It didn’t last long, as the Horned Frogs bounced back with a vengeance, scoring three runs in the bottom half; right fielder Austin Davis sparked the rally with a bunt single and third baseman Brayden Taylor and David Bishop notched RBI base hits.

The Frogs padded their lead with a three-run fourth inning. Two walks, a well-placed bunt by catcher Karson Bowen and an RBI double by Davis, who recorded three hits in the game, powered the Frogs in the frame.

To start the bottom of the fifth inning, TCU starting pitcher Sam Stoutenborough was pulled. The right-hander gave up seven hits, two earned runs and struck out seven batters.

Although the Tigers made solid contact off Stoutenborough’s fastball, they struggled with the changeup.  Saarloos mentioned Stoutenborough is “going to give up some traffic,” or allow base hits, and added the Cal transfer showcased experience to pitch out of jams.

“I thought his changeup was huge in terms of getting back-to-back strikeouts against [Missouri’s] one and two-hole hitters in that basis-loaded situation,” Saarloos said. “[The changeup] was phenomenal.”

Missouri’s offense slowly chipped away at the lead in the fifth and seventh innings, putting the ball in play and forcing the Frog defense to work. In the seventh, second baseman Tre Richardson and third baseman Brayden Taylor made errors that allowed the Tigers to capitalize.

In the eighth, the Tigers tied the ballgame after a leadoff triple. Preseason All-Big 12 reliever Garrett Wright went was placed in the game to limit the damage, but he couldn’t hold the runner at third.

After relief pitcher Zach Franklin struck out the side, the Tigers took the lead in the ninth, tallying three base hits off Wright that resulted in two runs scored. Bishop’s heroics sent the game into extra innings, but the defense collapsed once again.

Taylor and Bowen made throwing errors, allowing the Tigers to take the lead. The Frog offense failed to respond as TCU dropped its first ballgame of the season.

Up next

No. 15 TCU baseball will face UT Arlington on Wednesday at Lupton Baseball Stadium. The Frogs’ home opener will commence at 6 p.m., and the starting pitcher is to be determined.