Baseball earns second win in as many days, tops West Virginia, 8-1

Lead by senior right fielder A.J. Balta’s four RBIs, TCU cruised to victory for the second consecutive night, toppling West Virginia, 8-1.

Balta’s fourth RBI of the night extended TCU’s lead to six runs in the eighth inning, but his biggest hit came in the seventh inning.

Balta’s two-run double off the outfield wall scored first-year second baseman Coby Boulware and sophomore third baseman Conner Shepherd to make it a 4-1 ballgame. Balta’s eight RBIs during the tournament lead all players.

“Balta had great back-to-back at-bats tonight,” Landestoy said. “He’s going a great job of seeing pitches up and capitalizing on them. It gives me confidence hitting behind him to take advantage and ambush pitchers.”

The Frogs received impressive performances from pitchers returning from injury in juniors Sean Wymer and Durbin Feltman.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle called on Wymer to get the job done tonight. Heading into tonight’s game, Wymer sat at seventh in the conference in individual pitching with an earned run average of 3.80 while limiting opponent’s batting average to .247.

“We played an outstanding ballgame tonight,” Schlossnagle said. “Sean did a great job pitching out of jams and limiting damage.”

Wymer found himself in a jam early in the first inning. Two singles from West Virginia left fielder Braden Zarbinsky and right fielder Darius Hill plus a groundout by centerfielder Brandon White put runners on the corners with one out. Wymer was able to induce a double play ball to get out of the inning unscathed.

Sean Wymer throws to first base for an out in Thursday’s victory over West Virginia. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

In Wymer’s five innings of work, he allowed one earned run on six hits. He fanned five batters, hit two and walked none in an 85-pitch outing.

“It was exciting,” Wymer said. “I’ve been asking for the ball for the past two or three weeks. I just went out and gave it my all. I didn’t have my curveball tonight but the changeup played well for me.”

Following a scoreless first inning, the Horned Frogs broke the scoreless tie in the second inning. Junior center fielder Johnny Rizer lead off the inning with his second triple of the season to deep left center and later scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Zach Humphreys.

The Mountaineers responded in the fourth inning. Wymer plucked West Virginia’s first baseman Marques Inman for his second hit batter of the night and second baseman Kyle Gray singled to put runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on a groundout from designated hitter Tyler Doans and Inman scored on a groundout by catcher Ivan Gonzalez.

TCU regained the lead in the fifth inning as West Virginia’s starting pitcher began to fade. Isaiah Kearns limited the Horned Frogs to one run on one hit in his first four innings of work but allowed three hits in the fifth inning to push momentum back in TCU’s favor.

“Overall he did a really good job of locating his fastball tonight,” designated hitter Michael Landestoy said. “He kept it away and had the fastball really under control and had the slider and changeup against lefties. He got ahead in the count and when we had a chance to do damage, he made a pitch and cut out the inning.”

First-year shortstop Adam Oviedo led off the inning with a single into left field. He advanced to second off a single from first-year second baseman Coby Boulware. The bases were loaded following a single by junior left fielder Josh Watson and Balta flew out to right field, scoring Oviedo.

Kearns finished the night with two earned runs allowed on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out five Horned Frogs and walked three.

Kearns’ replacement, Jackson Wolf, hit Shepherd to begin the seventh inning and walked Boulware before Cody Wood replaced him. Wood surrendered two earned runs on three hits as TCU extended their lead to five runs in the seventh inning.

Wolf allowed two earned runs in his one-inning outing, walking two batters and striking out one. Wood allowed two earned runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of work.

Sophomore pitcher Jake Eissler replaced Wymer in the sixth inning. Eissler threw three scoreless innings, allowing only three hits fanning three Mountaineers and walking two.

Back-to-back hits from Landestoy and Balta in the bottom of the seventh scored four runs. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

Feltman replaced Eissler in the ninth inning, pitching for the first time since Apr. 27. After he issued a leadoff walk, he struck out the side to secure the victory.

“It’s a huge lift for our team to see the All-American closer get back on the field,” Schlossnagle said. “He was a little rusty but we’re glad to have him back.”

Durbin Feltman returned from injury to make his first appearance since April 27. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

The victory marks TCU’s third win over West Virginia this season in four tries.

“We’ve played really well against them,” Schlossnagle said. “There’s no specific reason to it. They have a great offensive club, are well coached and are well equipped to make it deep in this tournament.”

TCU has the luxury to rest tomorrow as Texas Tech and West Virginia battle in the elimination game.

“We’re definitely going to get some rest,” Schlossnagle said. “We won’t practice but we may get a lift in. We’ll try to stay on schedule as we normally would.”

TCU will face the winner between the Red Raiders and Mountaineers Saturday at 12:30 p.m. A victory will push TCU to the championship game Sunday.

Source: TCU360

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TCU, Baylor stay perfect, earn Friday off at Big 12 tournament

TCU beat West Virginia Thursday night to stay unbeaten in the Big 12 tournament at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Horned Frogs (32-22) advanced to play the winner … Click to Continue »

Source: Star Telegram

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TCU Basketball to host Florida in Big 12-SEC Challenge

TCU men’s basketball will host Florida on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 as part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge. The Horned Frogs are 3-2 in the challenge, including a loss at … Click to Continue »

Source: Star Telegram

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TCU will face Florida Gators in 2019 Big 12/SEC Challenge

TCU is 3-2 all-time in the Challenge.

The Big 12/SEC Challenge for the 2018-19 basketball season has just been announced, and TCU will host the Florida Gators on January 26th.

The Frogs are 3-2 all-time in the Challenge, but dropped their game to Vanderbilt this season, rather unexpectedly.

Florida finished with a 21-13 overall record last season, including an 11-7 record in the surprisingly deep SEC. They destroyed Baylor, 81-60, in their matchup as a part of last season’s Challenge.

This is a fantastic addition to the Frogs’ schedule, and the fact that TCU is hosting makes it even better.

Read the full press release from TCU Athletics below:

TCU will host Florida on Saturday, Jan. 26 in the sixth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

The Horned Frogs, which own a 3-2 record in the Challenge, will play the Gators for the third time in its history. Florida won the previous two meetings, 77-75 on March 17, 1986 in Gainesville, Fla., and 73-61 on Dec. 21, 1974 in Fort Worth. The meeting in 1986 was the first round of the NIT.

TCU went 21-12 overall last season and a program-best 9-9 in the Big 12 Conference. The Frogs made postseason play for the second-straight season and earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in 20 seasons. They return five regulars in the starting lineup from a team that led the Big 12 in scoring average and shooting percentage in conference games.

Florida went 21-13 overall last season including an 11-7 record in the Southeastern Conference. The Gators seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the past nine seasons ended with a second round loss to Texas Tech in Dallas.

This will mark the fourth consecutive year for all matchups to be played in one day. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise the contests with ESPN’s College GameDay originating from one of the sites. Game time and network for TCU’s game will be announced at a later date.

Big 12 teams are 29-21 (.580) in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. In the first four years of the event, the Challenge trophy remained in the Big 12 office. The Big 12 won it the first three seasons and the leagues split the 10 games in 2017 (in case of a tie, the trophy stays with the conference that won it the previous season). The SEC won the fifth season of the Challenge.

Previously announced non-conference games for the 2018-19 season include a Dec. 7 matchup with USC in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at STAPLES Center and a trip to Hawaii for three games in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Teams in the 10th annual event are Bucknell, Charlotte, Colorado, Hawai’i, Indiana State, Rhode Island and UNLV.

2009 SEC/Big 12 Challenge – Saturday, Jan. 26

Alabama at Baylor

Iowa State at Ole Miss

Kansas at Kentucky

Kansas State at Texas A&M

Vanderbilt at Oklahoma

South Carolina at Oklahoma State

Florida at TCU

Texas at Georgia

Arkansas at Texas Tech

West Virginia at Tennessee

Source: Frogs of War

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Baseball scores early, often in run-rule victory over Texas Tech, 12-2

The sixth-seeded Horned Frogs exploded offensively in Wednesday night’s 12-2 victory over the third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders in seven innings due to the mercy rule.

The Red Raider’s pitching misfires provided the Horned Frogs with 14 walks.

The win marks TCU’s twelfth in their last 17 ballgames.

“Certainly excited to win a ball game,” Head Coach Jim Schlossnalge said. “We aren’t in any position to complain about how it looks or the way it happened. We just need to survive and advance.”

Pushed back two hours from its original start time due to the previous game running long, the game’s first pitch from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla. was not thrown until 9:30 p.m.

“It might make a difference for a 47-year-old coach,” Schlossnagle said. “It doesn’t make a big difference for these guys. We’ve been waiting around to play all day.”

Sophomore pitcher Nick Lodolo got the nod on the mound Wednesday night and limited an offensive threat from the Red Raiders. In 4.2 innings of action, he allowed one earned run on seven hits, walking four batters and fanning six.

Nick Lodolo silenced Texas Tech’s offensive firepower Wednesday night. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

The Horned Frogs clicked offensively in the second inning and exploded for an early six-run lead over the Red Raiders.

“That really boosted our morale and took some pressure off our pitcher,” junior right fielder A.J. Balta said. “It allowed us to open up the way that we play the game as an offense and as a defense.”

Texas Tech’s starting pitcher Ryan Sublette could not find the strike zone in his short, one-inning outing. He allowed four earned runs, walking five and fanning only one batter. Junior center fielder Johnny Rizer opened the second inning with a single into right field and Sublette followed with three consecutive walks to sophomore catcher Zach Humphreys, senior first baseman Connor Wanhanen and first-year shortstop Adam Oviedo to score Rizer and keep the bases loaded.

Following Oviedo’s walk, Sublette was pulled for sophomore Caleb Freeman. The pitching change did not fix Tech’s struggles. Sophomore third baseman Conner Shepherd singled into center field, scoring Wanhanen and Humphreys and advancing Oviedo to second. Junior left fielder Josh Watson was hit to load the bases and Balta ripped a three-run double into center field to clear the bases.

“I’m proud of A.J. for getting a big hit,” Schlossnagle said. “We haven’t had too many bases-clearing doubles to this point this year. That was a big one for us.”

The Red Raiders threatened in the bottom of the second inning as Lodolo walked designated hitter Zach Rheams and surrendered a double to first baseman Cameron Warren to put two runners in scoring position with zero outs. Lodolo responded with a strikeout, groundout and tagged Rheams out at the plate following a wild pitch to keep the lead at six.

TCU extended their lead in the fourth inning. Following a walk to Watson, Balta doubled to centerfield to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Landestoy followed with a single up the middle to score both Watson and Balta which increased TCU’s lead to eight runs.

Shepherd opened up the fifth inning with a walk and ultimately worked his way around the bases and scored TCU’s ninth run of the ballgame. He advanced to second on a walk to Boulware and moved to third after Watson flew out to right field. Balta flew out to centerfield, scoring Shepherd for his fiftieth RBI of the season.

A.J. Balta’s first Big 12 Championship game was highlighted by his bases-clearing double. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

Lodolo surrendered his first run of the game in the fifth inning. Red Raider catcher Braxton Fulford singled and scored from second base off a single by third baseman Josh Jung. An infield single by left fielder Grant Little loaded the bases and Schlossnagle called on the bullpen to finish the job.

Fellow sophomore Charles King entered the game to relieve Lodolo and his first pitch flew past Humphreys for a wild pitch and scored Brian Klein from third base.

In two innings pitched, King allowed zero earned runs on three hits, striking out four and walking none.

“We put all hands on deck to win a ballgame,” Schlossnagle said. “Charles King bounced back quick. I wanted to limit the number of pitches he threw because we’re going to need him again in this tournament.”

The Frogs responded to Texas Tech’s two-run inning with a run of their own. Rizer opened up the sixth inning with a walk and scored on a Humphreys double down the left field line to score him from first, extending TCU’s lead back to eight runs.

TCU continued to pile on the runs in the seventh inning. Landestoy lead off the inning with a double and was followed by three consecutive walks to Humphreys, Rizer, and Wanhanen, which scored Landestoy to lead 11-2. An RBI groundout by Oviedo scored Rizer from third, giving the Horned Frogs their largest lead of the night at 10 runs.

With TCU leading by 10 runs following the seventh inning, the game was called on the league’s 10-run mercy rule.

The Frogs are aware of their precarious fate headed into the Big 12 Championship, likely needing to win the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“We know the position we’re in,” Wanhanen said. “I don’t think there’s any sense of panic, there’s more sense of urgency. We know what we have to do and that’s taking it one pitch at a time for the rest of the week. This is a great start to the week.”

With the victory, the Horned Frogs are scheduled to face No. 7 West Virginia in the winner’s bracket, fresh off a victory over No. 2 Oklahoma State. First pitch against the Mountaineers is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Source: TCU360

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TCU baseball run-rules Texas Tech in Big 12 tournament opener

TCU opened the Big 12 tournament with a 12-2, run-rule win against Texas Tech in seven innings at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla., Wednesday night. The sixth-seeded Horned Frogs … Click to Continue »

Source: Star Telegram

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LB Ty Summers named to Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list

The Frogs’ defensive leader is getting plenty of off-season love.

Growing up, Ronnie Lott was one of my favorite football players. Known for his toughness – he once famously chose to have his finger amputated over risking missing time recovering from the break. The longtime 49ers safety was known for his toughness, football IQ, and awareness, and the trophy named after him represents those qualities for athletes today.

Now, the award is given annually

to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of athletics and recognizes college football’s Defensive Player of the Year who best exemplifies the IMPACT acronym: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Earlier this week, it was announced that TCU linebacker Ty Summers had been named to the watch list for the award, joining 41 other defensive standouts from around the country. Summers, a former high school QB, has played in 41 games at linebacker for the Frogs across three seasons, accumulating 271 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 17 TFLs. Known for his toughness, tenacity, and instinct, Summers has transformed himself into one of the most productive defensive players of the Gary Patterson era on the field, and has been a leader off of it, as well.

Joining Summers on the Watch List from the Big 12 are Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen, Kansas State safety Denzel Goolsby, and Oklahoma linebacker Caleb Kelly. Other notable nominees are Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Houston’s Ed Oliver, and Christian Wilkins of Clemson.

Here’s more on Summers, courtesy of Go Frogs:

Summers, who will play this fall as a graduate student after already earning his TCU degree, is a two-time All-Big 12 selection. His 271 career tackles rank fifth in the 17-season tenure of head coach Gary Patterson. Summers enters the 2018 campaign needing 73 tackles to pass current Los Angeles Ram Travin Howard for the top spot.

A senior from San Antonio, Summers was the 2017-18 TCU Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bob Lilly Male Athlete of the Year. He is actively involved with S.P.A.R.K., a community outreach program organized by TCU football student-athletes, and is a frequent speaker at area schools.

TCU two-time consensus first-team All-America defensive end Jerry Hughes, now with the Buffalo Bills, was the 2009 Lott IMPACT Trophy recipient.

Source: Frogs of War

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Four Big 12 basketball teams earn spots in preseason Top 25

TCU men’s basketball is ranked No. 21 in CBS Sports college hoops columnist Gary Parrish’s preseason top 25. The Horned Frogs (21-12), which reached the NCAA tournament for the first … Click to Continue »

Source: Star Telegram

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Baseball enter ‘Do or Die’ Big 12 Championship with eyes on NCAA Tournament berth

An unfamiliar sight to the Horned Frog faithful, TCU Baseball is not guaranteed a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament for the first season since 2013 when the team went 29-28 overall and 12-12 in Big 12 play.

The College World Series regulars enter this week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 30-22 overall record and a 10-13 record in league play.

“Our season certainly hasn’t gone the way the last four seasons have gone,” Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “There are no excuses for that. This is definitely a ‘do or die’ tournament for us.”

Following a three-game series against Baylor University in Waco, the Horned Frogs were sitting at 19-17 with postseason chances looking slim to none.

The Frogs went on to win 11 of their next 13 ballgames, including series victories against Texas Tech, West Virginia and a sweep over Lamar University. Schlossnalgle said their “simple approach” generated their success.

Senior designated hitter Michael Landestoy’s experience tells him the team needs to go far in this week’s tournament for an NCAA Tournament berth. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

“We got back home and we got some timely hits to get us going,” Schlossnagle said May 4 when the frogs played Lamar University. “Some experience from Wanhanen and Watson started to show. These guys know where we are in the season and what has to happen for us to have any type of season in late May. It’s all about pitching, defense and timely hitting.”

Limping into this week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, the Horned Frogs dropped their final series of the regular season to Texas. In the series, the squad was unable to muster more than three runs in each of their three defeats.

“We had been playing pretty well until our trip to Austin this past weekend,” Schlossnagle said. “We’re hoping to pick up on that play over this next week.”

The team understands their precarious fate and will continue their same approach, hoping it leads to more success.

“I’m not a guy who looks into statistics or rankings, but from experience, I’m pretty sure we need to go really deep, if not win the Big 12 Tournament, to have a chance to be in the postseason,” senior designated hitter Michael Landestoy said. “We just need to come out and take it pitch by pitch, game by game. Nothing really changes for us, no matter the stakes. We’re just going to play our brand of baseball that we know and we will be ready to play.”

The No. 6 seed Horned Frogs will open the 2018 Big 12 Championship against the No. 3 seed Texas Tech, the league’s top hitting team. As a team, the Red Raiders hit .311 and boast an on-base percentage of .425.

Five Red Raiders were named to the All-Big 12 first team: infielder Josh Jung, outfielder Grant Little, infielder Gabe Holt, designated hitter Zach Rheams and starting pitcher Caleb Kilian.

Jung and Little hold the honors of being the conference’s top-two hitters. Jung, first in the league, holds a .389 average with 11 home runs and 71 RBIs and Little is hitting at a clip of .374 with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs.

“They’re a huge challenge and an ‘Omaha’ club,” Schlossnagle said. “They’re very athletic and have power and you have to make pitches to them. We finished second in the league in ERA, so I feel good about our pitching. They’re playing some of their best baseball of the season. It should be fun.”

Schlossnagle’s squad was able to earn the series victory over Texas Tech over the season as part of their hot streak late in the season and he hopes his team uses it as a confidence boost.

“I’d say they’re pretty confident knowing they can have success against great teams,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s a new season and everybody resets to zero. I think more lower seeds than higher seeds have won the title. We’re hoping we’re one of those teams.”

TCU’s pitching is faced with a tough task against Texas Tech’s firepower tomorrow evening. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

Landestoy said their past victories over the Red Raiders give the first-year players a confidence boost headed into tomorrow’s contest.

“We’ve played them before and that was a big series for us confidence-wise,” Landestoy said. “They’re going to come ready to play. They’re a good baseball team in all areas. This tournament gives us another chance to prove ourselves. ”

First pitch against the Red Raiders is scheduled for Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Source: TCU360

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TCU’s path to postseason takes treacherous turn through Big 12 tournament

Forget, if you can, the fact that TCU baseball is coming off a disappointing sweep to the Texas Longhorns in Austin. In fact, even with those three losses, the Horned … Click to Continue »

Source: Star Telegram

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