TCU baseball evens series against No. 16 Oklahoma State behind Silva’s two home runs

TCU shortstop Anthony Silva hits two home runs in a 7-3 victory over Oklahoms State on April 7, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Charles Baggarly

FORT WORTH – The Frogs had their backs against the wall, and they rose to the occasion under the Friday night lights.

TCU baseball defeated Oklahoma State 7-3, evening the series. Freshman right-hander Kole Klecker started for the Frogs, facing a tough Cowboy offense.

Klecker allowed three earned runs and four hits in seven innings pitched. He fought through early control issues, putting together a gritty, clutch outing.

“We needed to start fast, and we haven’t in a while,” TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos said. “We haven’t gotten a quality start from one of our starters in a while. And Kole [Klecker] did what Kole did.”

Klecker allowed two home runs with the wind blowing out of Lupton Baseball Stadium. The home run balls have been common this weekend, and Sunday’s game will have a similar atmosphere according to Saarloos. The Cowboys have tallied 14 hits through two games, seven of which have been home runs.

“When it’s cool and the north winds blowing [Lupton Baseball Stadium] plays pretty small,” Saarloos said. 

Even with the home runs allowed, Klecker’s outing was a game-changer for the Horned Frogs. He allowed three runs and four hits through seven innings, tossing 109 total pitches. Klecker’s persistence saved bullpen arms, putting TCU in a good position to win the rubber match on Sunday.

Another freshman, shortstop Anthony Silva, also had an impactful performance. Silva tallied three base hits, two of which were home runs.

TCU has plenty of freshmen in pivotal roles, and they’ve impressed thus far this season. The newcomers’ elite performances have been crucial in all three aspects of the game.

“You would hope that they feel like they’re not freshmen anymore because this time of the year, you know, we’re gonna have to have them play like sophomores and juniors,” Saarloos said.

Under the Friday night lights

With the series on the line, the Horned Frog fans at Lupton were rowdier than normal.

Oklahoma State second baseman Roc Riggio rubbed the Frog fans the wrong way after a home run in the fifth inning. Riggio carried his bat to first base and flipped it up in the air. He trotted around the base paths, skipping to home plate to the sound of boos.

Saarloos had a discussion with the officials regarding an official warning being issued. Saarloos, however, doesn’t fault Riggio.

“[Riggio] plays with emotion,” Saarloos said. “But they’re trying to get backflips and those types of things out of the game. So they gave him a warning in terms of bringing his bat all the way to first base. … We’ve been warned multiple times on that same thing, so just making sure that at least a warning was going to be issued.”

Riggio’s antics, the Hypnotoad and Silva’s power ignited the crowd, creating one of the best atmospheres at Lupton this season.

“I thought it was a great atmosphere,” Saarloos said. “You know, that’s why you come to TCU is to play in those types of atmospheres. And hopefully everybody comes out tomorrow and helps us out in terms of having a home-field advantage.”

Klecker mentioned the Friday night loss was tough. The team wanted to stick together and emphasized bringing improved energy. The fans at Lupton Baseball Stadium matched their effort.

“Lupton had our back,” Klecker said. “This was a really fun Friday night.”

The Frogs did more than enough in all three facets of the game to walk away with the victory. Defensively, they continued to trend in the right direction, committing zero errors. Second baseman Tre Richardson impressed, hauling in several hard hit ground balls that had base hit potential.

Up next

TCU will face Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. on Saturday with the series on the line. Cam Brown will start for the Horned Frogs.