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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

No. 5 TCU sweeps FGCU in high-scoring opening series with an 11-6 win on Sunday

The Frogs outscored the Eagles 34-25 over the opening three games of the season.
Tyler Chan
TCU first basemen and catcher Karson Bowen celebrates while rounding the bases after hitting a home run at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on February 18th, 2024. The TCU Horned Frogs beat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 11-6. (Tyler Chan/Staff Photographer)

The Frogs secured the three-game sweep in a battle of the bats with an 11-6 win in eight innings behind strong performances from Karson Bowen and Logan Maxwell.

Maxwell also had three hits, going 3-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored. Bowen went 3-5 with a double, one home run and six RBI. He said he was just letting the ball travel and doing what he knows he can do.

“I just wanted to get back to what I know,” said Bowen. “It has been a grind coming back from a hand injury and a shoulder injury, but it’s been fun.”

The two-out single he hit to tie the game at five put him over the 50 career RBI milestone.

Head coach Kirk Saarloos was impressed by the offensive prowess and fight the team had after being down in every game in the series.

“We did a lot of things well from a team aspect,” said Saarloos. “The resiliency and the offense was the calling card on the weekend. It very easily could have been a different feeling today if it wasn’t for that.”

Over the three games, true freshman center fielder Chase Brunson and second baseman Peyton Chatagnier showed out. Brunson went 6-10 with two doubles, a home run, four walks and two RBI. Chatagnier locked down the leadoff spot, going 4-11 with two home runs, five walks, three RBI and three stolen bases.

Saarloos was excited about the impact Brunson had in his collegiate debut.

“He’s a good player,” he said. “Even in the last inning, he got behind in a two-strike count, but he didn’t give in and he gave us a good, quality at-bat.”

Saarloos added it was fun to watch him in his first weekend as a Horned Frog, but it’s exactly what he expects of himself.

“It’s business as usual for him,” he said. “I’m glad I’m on his team.”

Saarloos added that the offense made up for the sloppiness of the fielding and rough go of it for the pitching staff.

The error column was a point of emphasis for the Frogs, who had four errors on Sunday and two on Saturday. Five of those were shared by TCU third basemen. Jack Basseer was charged with three on Sunday and Ryder Robinson was charged with two on Saturday.

Brody Green came in to play third late in Sunday’s game and was immediately challenged, but he made clean plays and even tallied two singles in his two plate appearances. One was a drag bunt and the other an infield single that scored a runner from third.

“He was prepared, he had a great fall and it’s all about opportunity,” said Saarloos. “He’s gonna continue to get those, but he was really a defensive stabilizer.”

Saarloos also commended his base running. He tied the game at six after advancing on a wild pitch.

Another difficulty from the weekend was the defense.

TCU’s relievers did their job out of the bullpen, getting out of a few jams the previous pitcher had gotten into. However, they couldn’t get quite get out of the next inning, but another arm came in and got them out of the inning.

Pitchers Andrew Mosiello, Zachary Cawyer, Braedon Sloan and Hunter Hodges combined for four innings pitched, one earned run and two strikeouts.

Cawyer came away with the win after getting out of a bases loaded, no-out jam with just one run allowed on a slow-rolling infield single.

Hodges earned a save, getting the nod in the top of the eight with a couple of runners on and one out. He made quick work of the two batters he faced, getting the Frogs back into the batter’s box.

The game ended after the Frogs batted because of FGCU’s flight schedule.

Game one, Friday

Peyton Chatagnier rounds third and heads for home in a game against Florida Gulf Coast University at Lupton Stadium on Feb. 16, 2024. (Steven Magallon/Staff Photographer)

The Frogs walked off their first game of the season 10-9 via a Jack Arthur strikeout that was dropped and then overthrown by FGCU catcher Mac Moise. Chatagnier advanced from second to third on the wild pitch and beat the tag at home, scoring the winning run.

scored early, taking a two-run lead going into the third inning. That’s where TCU had issues throughout the whole series. The Eagles put up four runs in the third and three runs in the fourth.

After a two-run home run from FGCU catcher Mac Moise, the Frogs started inching their way back on an Anthony Silva home run.

Brunson homered after to cut the deficit to four in the seventh inning. In the eight, catcher Kurtis Byrne singled to score one, Silva singled in another run, Bowen hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Byrne and then Brunson hit a sacrifice fly to score the tying run in Arthur, who came in to pinch run for designated hitter Payton Tolle.

Arthur went on to strike out, leading to Chatagnier scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

Game two, Saturday

Chase Brunson in a game against FGCU at Lupton Stadium on Feb. 17, 2024. (Steven Magallon)

Wichita State-transfer Payton Tolle played hero with a game-winning, three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It puts the Frogs up by two before Luke Boyers singled in Byrne as an insurance run, finalizing the score at 13-10.

Chatagnier also had a game to remember. He led the game off with a solo home run and hit another in the fourth.

It was the longest game played in the series, lasting four hours and seven minutes. It would have been beaten by game three if the game hadn’t been called in the eight inning, which stopped the clock at exactly four hours.

Friday’s game lasted just over three hours and 30 minutes.

Bowen talked about the length of the games and how that affected the team throughout the weekend.

“We were ready to go and play all nine,” he said after Sunday’s contest. “They’ve been some long games, but it’s as good as it gets–we want to play as much baseball as possible.”

Tolle, who started game one on the mound, turned on a pitch from FGCU pitcher Evan Dempsey, who was given the loss after giving up five earned runs in 1.2 innings of work.

Relief pitcher Braedon Sloan came in for the eight inning to keep the six-run deficit right where it was. He did exactly that, pitching one inning, striking out two and earning the win.

Closing pitcher Ben Abeldt, who had a masterful performance in TCU’s College World Series run last season, appeared in his first save opportunity of the 2024 campaign. He locked down the save after giving up just one hit and striking out two.

Up Next

The Frogs will stay at home to play Texas State on Tuesday with first pitch at 6 p.m. Saarloos confirmed Ben Hampton will take the mound as the starter, who has plenty of experience pitching in the Big 12.

“I’ll sleep a lot better on Monday night knowing he’s pitching on Tuesday,” he said. “You can’t teach experience.”

He’s looking forward to the team carrying over its high energy from this weekend.

“I’m proud overall of what our dugout was like,” he said. If there was a lull or the bench was flat, “the returning guys voiced that, not just the coaching staff–that was really special.”

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