No. 10 TCU baseball takes down Dallas Baptist, snaps five game losing streak to Patriots


By Charles Baggarly

DALLAS – For the first time since 2018, the Horned Frogs have bested the Patriots.

In a back-and-forth pitchers duel, No. 10 TCU baseball defeated Dallas Baptist in extra innings to snap a five-game losing streak to its crosstown rival.

TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos called the contest a “great college baseball game” and credited the Horned Frog pitching staff for holding the Patriots to one run in 12 innings.

Freshman Braeden Sloan, TCU’s starting pitcher, allowed one hit and one earned run through five innings. Saarloos said Sloan, facing a talented offense, was “way better” compared to his previous appearance; the left-hander gave up three hits through three 1/3 innings against UT Arlington on Feb. 22.

Freshman Louis Rodriguez took over for Sloan, throwing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball while allowing one hit. After, freshman Ben Abeldt, responding from a six-run outing on Saturday against Florida State, threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings and tallied two strikeouts. To finish the game, right-hander Cohen Feser took over and continued the Frogs’ effective pitching, securing the save.

Saarloos said the Patriots have an “awesome offense”, and the Horned Frogs limiting them to three hits and one run in an offensive ballpark was crucial.

“I think pitching won the day today and then we just got enough at the end,” Saarloos said. 

Although the pitching was excellent, the Frog offense struggled at the plate, tallying 18 strikeouts as a team. Saarloos said it’s not ideal to give away outs, and the offense should make opposing defenses work. He added that at the end of the day, it’s a win.

“You’d rather win striking out a bunch than lose striking out a bunch,” Saarloos said. “SI think it just comes down to our guys being ready to hit the fastball. I think [DBU] did a good job of throwing breaking balls for strikes and then slowed us down and they kind of beat us up with some fast balls.”

Through a long 12 inning ballgame of elite pitching from both teams, second baseman Tre Richardson said the Frogs kept trust in each other. Eventually, the Frog offense, powered by Richardson’s three hits, found a way to jump out on top

“We trust who we have out in the field on the bench, you know, we trust all 35 of our guys and we’re just ready to go out and compete,” Richardson said. “That’s what we did.”

Missed offensive opportunities

Austin Davis started the ballgame by winning a long battle, drawing a walk in eleven pitches. Aggressive base running prevented the Frogs from striking first, as Davis was picked off after taking a large lead.

In the bottom half of the second, mistakes cost the Frogs again. In what could’ve been an inning-ending double play, first baseman David Bishop failed to haul in a high throw by second baseman Tre Richardson. As a result, the Patriots took an early lead.

Poor base running continued to plague the Horned Frogs in the second inning. Richardson sent a ball to the fence and catcher Kurtis Byrne, who isn’t the fleetest of foot, was waved around third base in an attempt to score from first but was thrown out at the plate.

In the fourth, the Frogs, once again, couldn’t move over a runner in scoring position. Third baseman Brayden Taylor started the inning with a walk and a stolen base, but the Frogs went down in order and left the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year stranded. 

After four innings of zero run support for Sloan, the Horned Frogs finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth thanks to a string of base hits from catcher Karson Bowen and shortstop Anthony Silva; Davis plated Bowen with a sacrifice fly.

The fifth inning, Sloan’s final frame, was ended by Bowen, who caught a runner stealing second.

“[Bowen] threw the guy out by 10 feet on a changeup,” Saarloos said.

TCU, with runners in scoring position following a Taylor walk and a Richardson double, could’ve taken a lead in the sixth inning with a ground ball to the right side or a fly ball to the outfield. After a Bishop line out to second base and a Boyers strikeout, his third of five in the ballgame, the scoring threat was ended in a jiffy.

Frogs hold on

Both teams kept the other off the scoreboard with elite pitching as the game continued. DBU utilized seven different arms in total. The strength in numbers strategy was effective, but eventually the Frog offense got the best of the Patriots.

“[DBU] ran out on a lot of really good arms but we got it done,” Saarloos said.

Although TCU couldn’t do anything offensively, the freshmen pitchers kept the Frogs in the ballgame. DBU’s offense failed to move a runner into scoring position after the second inning all the way to the 11th. The Patriots couldn’t secure the walk off and the ballgame moved into the 12. 

Bowen sparked the game-winning rally with a lead-off double and Silva moved the catcher over with a well-placed bunt to the right side; DBU pitcher Zane Russell stumbled attempting to field the ball and threw it away, allowing a run to score.

TCU added two insurance runs with Richardson’s third hit of the ballgame, a two-out single up the middle. After a leadoff walk to begin the bottom of the 12th inning, Feser slammed the door shut on the Patriots.

Up next

No. 10 TCU baseball will head to Houston to participate in the Shriners College Classic at Minute Maid Park. The Frogs first game of the weekend will be against Michigan and first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday.