No. 25 TCU baseball piles on runs, evens series against UNC Wilmington

TCU players celebrate a Kurtis Byrne home run in a 17-5 victory against UNC Wilmington on April 15, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Charles Baggarly

FORT WORTH – For the third consecutive weekend, TCU has evened the series after taking a loss on Friday.

The Frogs are used to responding when necessary, and they did just that at Lupton Baseball Stadium, taking down UNC Wilmington 17-5 on Saturday. With a nine-run sixth inning, TCU ensured an emphatic victory.

“We haven’t played how we wanted to in the last two Fridays,” third baseman Brayden Taylor said. “You know, it’s cool to see everyone come out with a lot of fight and be ready to go.”

TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos said the Horned Frogs have been ready to flush away bad performances, adding the team came ready to play following Friday’s loss.

“But we’ve got to stop doing that,” Saarloos said. “You know, we’ve put ourselves in the hole on the weekend by not coming out and playing like we did today.”

Klecker continues to thrive

Saarloos said Kole Klecker set the tone in the ballgame. The freshman right-hander tossed six innings, allowing two earned runs. Despite the winning performance, Saarloos and Klecker agreed “the stuff” wasn’t the greatest.

“[Klekcer] didn’t have his best stuff, but I thought he competed well,” Saarloos said. “Only gave up the one home run.”

The home run Saarloos referenced was the sole hit Klecker conceded. Still, Klecker “didn’t feel the greatest.”

“I felt like my stuff wasn’t the greatest I’ve had all season,” Klecker said. 

The right hander finished with two strikeouts, letting the Frogs make plays in the field. For the most part, the Frog defense did its job.

“I’m not going to blow the fastball by guys and get a lot of swing and misses,” Klecker said. “I just let the defense play behind me. And I mean, they were phenomenal. The whole infield.”

Taylor stole the show with a highlight reel worthy diving catch in the fourth inning, robbing designated hitter John Newton of extra bases. Newton sent a hard hit line drive down the line, but Taylor got a “good beat on it.”

 “I can’t believe I caught that,” Taylor said. “[Newton] hit it hard.”

Although the infield made a few flashy plays, the Frogs made two mistakes on easy, routine balls. Taylor and shortstop Anthony Silva made the errors.

The offense responds

TCU jumped ahead in the first inning and held onto the lead the rest of the way. Every starter in the Horned Frogs’ lineup recorded at least one hit.

Taylor and Silva both drove in a team high three RBIs. The left side of the Frog infield was patient at the plate, adding two walks each.

Second baseman Tre Richardson had three base hits, improving his batting average to .324. Three Horned Frogs hit a home run in the contest: Taylor, designated hitter Kurtis Byrne and first baseman Cole Fontenelle.

Saarloos spoke on the environment of the game, mentioning it was an offensive day. The wind was blowing to right field, which allowed balls to carry.

“[Taylor] got it up there and put a good swing on it,” Saarloos said. “A couple other guys did too.”

Up next

No. 25 TCU baseball will face UNC Wilmington Sunday at 1 p.m. with the series on the line. Cam Brown will start for the Horned Frogs.