Game 1: TCU 6 – Texas 5

After having their Friday night game canceled due to severe thunderstorms in Fort Worth, Texas and TCU got their weekend series underway on Saturday afternoon. In an uncharacteristically sloppy game by both teams, the Horned Frogs got the series advantage, winning Game 1, 6-5.

After allowing a single by Jeremie Fagnan in the bottom of the first inning, it appeared that starting pitcher Parker French pitched his way out of trouble. French induced a comeback-grounder off the bat of Connor Wanhanen, but then threw wildly to second base.

Instead of an inning-ending double play, TCU had runners at first and second base with only one out. The Horned Frogs capitalized on the throwing error by French, scoring two runs on an RBI single by Dane Steinhagen.

French battled for five innings, but never returned to form after his throwing error, and TCU’s persistent offense made him pay the price. The Horned Frogs scored another pair in the second frame and solo runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. All six runs, five of them earned, were charged to French, who allowed 11 hits in those five innings.

The Longhorn offense scored five runs, but was forced to play catch-up from early deficits. Already behind 2-0, Zane Gurwitz produced an RBI groundout in the top of the second that cut the TCU lead in half. In the top of the fourth inning, it was a Bret Boswell homerun that narrowed the deficit to 4-2, but Texas was not able to get closer than 2 runs.

Facing a four-run deficit, the Longhorns scored a pair of runs in the eighth and a run in the ninth frame, but were ultimately undone by a combination of 10 runners left on base and French’s early struggle.
TCU’s starter, Preston Morrison, earned his ninth win of the season (9-1) and Riley Ferrell recorded the Frogs’ final four outs to pick up his eleventh save.


Game 2: TCU 11 – Texas 6

Needing wins and momentum, Texas entered the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader on precarious footing. Similar to Game 1, TCU capitalized on a critical fielding error to beat Texas 11-6, earning a minimum of a series win (pending Sunday’s finale).

After retiring Texas in the top of the first, TCU seized early control by plating a run in the home half of the inning. Instead of playing from behind like they did in Game 1, the Horns tied the game in the top of the third frame on an RBI single by CJ Hinojosa.

Texas took their first lead of the day in the next inning on a homerun by Brooks Marlow and an RBI single from Ben Johnson. Staked to a 3-2 lead, starting pitcher Ty Culbreth held the Frogs’ offense in check until they scratched a trying run across in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Horns loaded the bases in the next inning, but Hinojosa was called out on strikes on a pitch that appeared low. As they did all day, TCU took positive momentum to the plate and grabbed a 4-3 lead on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth frame.

Riding that momentum, TCU broke the game open in the home half of the seventh, scoring six runs. With two outs in the inning, Texas got a routine groundball that should have ended the inning, but the ball rolled under Hinojosa’s glove. The Horned Frogs took advantage of the error and scored all six of the inning’s runs.

At 10-3 after seven complete frames, the conclusion of the game was academic. The Longhorns scored three runs in the final two innings, but it was far too little and too late.


Inside the doubleheader:

Game 1
Pitching – 6 runs on 12 hits
Defense – 2 fielding errors
Offense – 10 runners left on base

Game 2
Pitching – 11 runs on 14 hits
Defense – 2 fielding errors
Offense – 13 runners left on base


POST GAME

Augie Garrido
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On the pitching staff being two starters down: “We've got all that but when you start talking injuries you start making excuses and you don't try to find solutions. We're trying to find solutions. This was a very tough game physically but mentally it was tougher because it adds to the accumulation of losses. That always magnifies the things that go wrong. Actually Ty Culbreth pitched really well and will start again next week. We just made the mistakes that separated the two teams.”

On the six-run seventh inning in Game 2: “[The mistakes] were just too much to overcome. We made some uncharacteristic poor plays on the infield. Actually, the separation in the two teams might have been the infield play – they made some extremely good plays defensively in the middle.”