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TCU 360

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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

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No. 5 TCU takes down Texas State in first midweek game of the season

The Frogs’ pitching staff fought through defensive miscues to hold down the Bobcat offense.
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Tyler Chan
TCU baseball team praying before their game at Lupton Stadium on Feb. 18, 2024. The TCU Horned Frogs beat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 11-6. (TCU360/ Tyler Chan)

Taking advantage of Texas State’s mistakes helped the Frogs make up for some miscues of their own as they win their first midseason matchup 6-5.

TCU only had one error according to the scorebook, but a few other misplays allowed the Bobcats to stay in the game after the Frogs got out to a 5-0 lead in the first three innings.

Texas State was almost out of the third inning with only three runs against them, but a balk allowed TCU’s Luke Boyers another chance. He walked and passed the baton to Brody Green, who took advantage of his opportunity, scoring two runs on a single to left field.

“I’m just trying to time the fastball,” said Green. “I’m not really trying to hit anything else.”

It’s an interesting, but focused, approach for a player fighting for a spot in the starting lineup. He is in the mix with Ryder Robinson and Jack Basseer. The latter two combined for five errors over the weekend, leaving the starting spot open for Green’s taking.

“From the beginning, there was no one set at third base,” said Green. “I just went in with an open mindset. I’m just gonna play my game.”

His clutch single proved important for the Frogs, who held on to a one-run lead after scoring an insurance run that ended up being the deciding factor.

A two-out, inside-the-park home run off the bat of Texas State’s Aaron Lugo made it a 6-5 game in the eighth inning. TCU’s true freshman outfielder Chase Brunson dove head first but came up short on a sinking line drive that rolled to the wall.

Brunson was charged with the only error for TCU on a lazy fly ball that bounced out of his glove. However, the Frogs didn’t let it snowball into a big inning.

“Louis [Rodriguez] handled himself really well thinking he got out of the inning and then getting the next guy out,” said head coach Kirk Saarloos. “Good teams pick each other up.”

A rubber match

TCU gave up a total of 25 runs over the weekend against Florida Gulf Coast University. Tonight, the pitching staff only gave up five runs, four of which were earned.

West Virginia-transfer Ben Hampton started for the Frogs, cruising through 4.1 innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He finished with six strikeouts before being relieved by Rodriguez, who had zero earned runs three strikeouts in 1.2 innings.

Chase Hoover came in for 1.2 innings of work before closer Ben Abeldt shut the door with a four-out save to secure the fourth-straight win for the Frogs to open the season.

“The ninth came down to them not getting a bunt down and him getting a double play,” said Saarloos on Abeldt’s final three outs. “It totally changed the dynamic of the ninth inning.”

Saarloos half-confidently confirmed the starting rotation will be the same for the upcoming weekend series.

Texas State had its own run of good pitching from mostly Jonathan Martinez and Otto Wofford, who combined to put out 12 Horned Frog batters in a row.

That streak ended with a Karson Bowen single in the bottom of the seventh. Kurtis Byrne hit into a fielder’s choice, advancing Bowen to second and then third on a throwing error, bringing up the heavy-hitting Payton Tolle. He grounded out, but Bowen was able to come into to score the deciding run and give Tolle his second RBI of the night.

It was the first game TCU played this season in which neither team reached double digits in the run column.

Up next

The Frogs will remain at home for their weekend series against No. 20 UCLA, who Saarloos gave high praise for.

“They’re really, really talented and they always pitch really well,” he said. “So, we’ll have our hands full, for sure.”

First pitch for game one will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Game two, on Saturday, will start at 4 p.m. and game three on Sunday will start at 1 p.m.

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