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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

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Texas takes advantage of strong winds, defeats TCU behind Lucas Gordon’s effective outing

TCU+shortstop+Anthony+Silva+rounds+the+bases+after+hitting+a+home+run+in+a+8-4+loss+to+Texas.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+GoFrogs.com%29
TCU shortstop Anthony Silva rounds the bases after hitting a home run in a 8-4 loss to Texas. (Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com)

FORT WORTH – 5,166 fans filed into Lupton Baseball Stadium to see two Texas schools battle under the Saturday night lights. The wind was blowing out, setting the scene for Texas and TCU’s offenses to capitalize with home runs.

The Longhorns made the most of the situation, hitting five home runs. The Horned Frogs fought back but couldn’t catch up; Texas took down TCU 8-4, winning the opening contest of the series.

The Longhorn offense was on fire in the first three innings; Texas hit four of its five home runs facing starting pitcher Kole Klecker, who struggled to keep baseballs from carrying in the wind. Klecker finished the game with six earned runs in two 2/3 innings pitched.

“[Klecker] threw some decent pitches … that got up in the jet stream and kind of took off,” TCU head coach Saarloos said. “[Lucas Gordon] didn’t have any problems with it.”

Saarloos said Texas utilized the wind to do damage with the home run ball, adding the Horned Frogs were “playing in the same ballpark.”

Gordon had a strong outing, giving up four runs in eight innings pitched. The Texas ace struck out five Frogs, forcing his defense to make plays behind him; the Longhorns had his back.

“That’s exactly what a Friday night guy, in terms of coming out and starting the weekend, should look like,” Saarloos said.

Gordon, who leads the Big 12 Conference with a 2.41 ERA, showcased elite endurance, saving most of the Longhorn’s bullpen for the rest of the series.

“[Gordon] pounded the zone,” TCU catcher Karson Bowen said. “He went in and out and mixed it up with his changeup.”

TCU’s approach, with the wind blowing out, was to let the ball travel. The Longhorns were able to execute, while the Horned Frogs fell short.

TCU’s offense had a few productive moments: Bowen recorded a two-RBI home run in the fourth inning, and shortstop Anthony Silva hit one in the seventh inning. Bowen and Silva hit their fifth and sixth home runs of the season, respectively.

“Yeah, the approach today against Lucas Gordon was to let the ball travel and hit it to right field,” Bowen said. “That’s all I was trying to do. Trying to follow the approach and just hit the ball hard.”

TCU hit .091 with runners on base. Obviously, to beat an elite talent such as Gordon, timely hitting is key.

“You don’t get timely hitting you’re not going to score,” Saarloos said. “It’s no secret. We have to pitch Better. Play Better offense. Defense was solid tonight, but the other two I thought were okay in certain areas but not sustained for nine innings.”

After Klecker allowed six runs, the Frog bullpen limited the damage, holding the Horns to scoring two additional runs.  Chase Hoover led the charge, tossing two 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out four; River Ridings also pitched a scoreless inning.

“I thought [Hoover] established his fastball and then used the secondary off of that,” Saarloos said. “So it was a good outing. He gave us a little bit of length, which we needed. And you know, it’s something that he can build upon, but ultimately, he commanded his fastball.”

TCU’s offense, however, found themselves in too deep a hole.

Up next

TCU will take on Texas in game two of the series at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Longhorns can secure the series victory, and the Horned Frogs will attempt to make Monday’s contest a rubber match. Right hander Louis Rodriguez will start on the mound for TCU.

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