Cam Brown tosses shutout, Horned Frogs complete series sweep of Kansas

TCU starting pitcher Cam Brown tosses a shutout in a 14-0 win over Kansas on March 26, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Charles Baggarly

FORT WORTH – The Horned Frogs brought out the brooms at Lupton Baseball Stadium.

TCU baseball defeated Kansas 14-0 in seven innings on Sunday, securing the series sweep. Cam Brown completed a shutout, and the offense scored in bunches.

On Tuesday, head coach kirk Saarloos said the Horned Frogs needed to “play a bunch” to get the bad taste out of their mouth from the weekend series loss to Oklahoma. The Frogs did just that and, in the process, got back to their winning ways with five consecutive victories.

Saarloos mentioned the entire week was exactly what the doctor ordered, adding TCU did well in all three facets of the game.

“Sometimes the best cure to not playing your best is just playing more baseball,” Saarloos said. “You know, and sometimes it’s not practice, but it’s actually playing baseball. So being able to play five games this week, I think it came at a great time.”

TCU, after being the No. 11 ranked team the previous week, fell entirely out of the D1 Baseball rankings on Monday. The Horned Frogs needed to respond with five winnable games on deck, and they delivered.

At this point in the season, however, Saarloos could “care less” about rankings.

“The rankings don’t matter until you get to the postseason,” Saarloos said. “You want to be one of the final eight. And those are the only rankings that matter, that you’re one of the final eight and you’re playing for a national championship.”

Saarloos said the team is developing mental toughness and improved discipline, and the players are “realizing what that means.”

“I think being mentally tough is not getting frustrated and not losing focus,” Saarloos said. “Because the game will eventually try to break you. And that’s the name of this game. That’s our job, is to try and get it to one pitch at a time and not be frustrated if you’re not having a good day personally. You have to make sure you’re doing it for your team.”

The improved mental toughness has led to better results in the field and at the plate. In four of the five games this week, the Frogs made zero errors. Throughout the home stand, TCU averaged 9.8 runs per game.

Cam Brown goes the distance

Starting pitcher Cam Brown tossed a shutout, blanking the Jayhawks in seven innings. After the final pitch, Brown didn’t know there was a run rule in effect.

“I turned to Karson [Bowen] and was like, ‘Is it over? Is it over? What are we doing?’” Brown said. “And so I almost ran off the field.”

Brown allowed two hits and a walk, keeping the Jayhawks off the base paths. He settled down, retiring 15 straight after the first two batters he faced reached safely.

Saarloos, referring to Brown’s slow starts, said the junior right hander “likes to make things interesting” early in ballgames.

“And [Brown] did a good job of kind of wiggling out of the first inning, and then I think we got up eight-nothing and I think he, at that point, really settled in,” Saarloos said. “So, the next step for him is to be able to do that when games are close, and he’s done it before.”

Brown, to start contests, said that he needs to “stick with his game.”

“It just has everything to do with not trying to do too much,” Brown said. “Not trying to blow doors off and throw the nastiest stuff ever. … Getting the fastball down and getting the slider over and kind of just, you know, letting it work for me.”

Brown tallied eight strikeouts in the contest, fooling Jayhawks with a mix of 96 mph fastballs and accurate off speed pitches; Brown threw sliders and change ups in the mid to high 80s.

“I typically throw a lot of fast balls and the hitters, you know, a lot of times they’re ready to hit fast balls,” Brown said. “So, when I can get that off speed landing to throw them off the fastball and then just kind of get some free strikes here and there, it’s huge for my success.”

A nonstop offense

Once the Frogs got on top of the Jayhawks, they didn’t look back.

The offense was relentless, continuing to score in bunches. TCU tallied twelve hits, but was also patient at the plate, drawing seven walks and two bean balls.

Shortstop Anthony Silva, the Preseason Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year, recorded a team-high five RBIs and three base hits. Silva hit a 426-foot home run in the third inning, the first of his collegiate career. In addition, he notched a two-RBI double and a single up the middle.

Silva, who is batting .355 this season, said he “felt really comfortable” at the plate.

“I’ve seen pitches well,” Silva said. “It all started with pregame work in the cages and on the field BP. Everything felt great today. Everything clicked. So, hopefully I keep it going.”

Right fielder Austin Davis had a solid offensive outing, hitting his sixth home run of the season in the sixth inning. In the at-bat prior, Davis drove home two runs with a single to left field.

As of late, David Bishop has been in and out of the lineup with Cole Fontenelle receiving starts at first base. Today, he capitalized on his opportunity as a designated hitter, putting together multiple successful plate appearances. Bishop drew a walk facing a full count and hit two singles.

Third baseman Brayden Taylor also had a strong showing, drawing two walks, a hit by pitch and hitting a 355 foot home run to right field. Taylor is in a five way tie for the Big 12 Conference lead with eight home runs this season.

“I thought Brayden [Taylor] looked a lot more like himself today in terms of discipline at the plate and then getting a pitch to hit and not missing it,” Saarloos said.

Up next

Now that the home stand has concluded, TCU baseball will play the next five ballgames on the road. Prior to a weekend series in Lubbock against Texas Tech, the Frogs will face UT Arlington at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.