FORT WORTH – TCU Baseball won its 10th consecutive contest Friday night, as the Horned Frogs used long balls from third baseman Elliott Barzilli and designated hitter Luken Baker en route to a 9-2 win over Murray State at Lupton Stadium.
Jared Janczak picked up his sixth win of the season to stay perfect in 2017, striking out seven while allowing two unearned runs over 100 pitches in seven innings. Charles King relieved Janczak in eighth, completing a six-out save to wrap up the two-hour thirty-four minute contest.
“We don’t pay attention to the win streak, just how good we’re playing relative to our potential,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “These guys can swing the bat, and if you don’t execute your pitches…we knew that going in.”
The Frogs only allowed five hits all night, but the Racers got on the board first in the second inning after a botched double play attempt put runners on first and second with nobody out. A sac-fly two batters later by centerfielder Ryan Perkins gave Murray State the 1-0 lead.
TCU wasted no time to respond, though, scoring five unanswered runs between the bottom of the second and third innings. Barzilli connected on a 2-2 pitch from starting pitcher Ryan Dills that sailed over the left field wall, giving the Frogs a 2-1 lead through the second frame.
“It felt great. I put a great swing on it and things happened,” Barzilli said. “You can’t look at averages and define who I am. Baseball is full on confidence and you just have to go up there like you’re hitting .500.”
Barzilli finished the night with two hits and three RBIS.
One inning later, the Frogs added three more runs, first on an RBI single by Evan Skoug before Baker launched a two-run homer into left.
Murray State attempt to claw back in the fourth, however, loading up the bases with two outs after the Frogs botched yet another erroneous double play attempt. Janczak then issued an uncharacteristic bases-loaded walk to shortstop Jaron Robison, making it a 5-2 lead. Janczak was able to escape the two-out jam without allowing any further damage.
“I thought Jared was way out of rhythm early in the game and just not himself,” Schlossnagle said. “Of course, we booted two potential double play balls that could have really helped him find that rhythm. After the fourth he finally caught his pace and that was good to see.”
After a scoreless fifth inning, TCU plated two more runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Second baseman Cam Warner connected for a two-out bases-loaded single in the sixth to make it a 7-2 game before a Barzilli double and a first-base error on a Ryan Merrill grounder produced the final score of 9-2.
“Elliott hasn’t had the offensive season that he wants to have yet, but that hasn’t really shown up for him or anyone on the field this season,” Schlossnagle said. “That’s good to see and he was rewarded by it by hitting the ball to right field. That’s a really good sign for us.”
Charles King relieved Janczak when the eighth inning rolled around, retiring all six batters he faced to record the save over 17 pitches.
The Frogs will seek to extend their win streak to eleven games tomorrow right back at Lupton Field for game two of the weekend series against the Racers. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.