Frogs squashed by Texas Tech bats in 21-3 loss, drop second conference series of season

This Sunday was a kick in the gut for TCU, to put it lightly. No, this was not a football game. Frogs lose to Texas Tech 21-3 via run rule.

No. 2 TCU entered Sunday with a chance to sweep No. 6 Texas Tech, with the completion of Saturday’s weather-suspended contest scheduled ahead of the afternoon’s series finale. Instead, the Horned Frogs couldn’t hold onto a late game-two lead before suffering a 21-3 loss in game three to drop the series, 2-1.

Starting pitcher Brian Howard only lasted 2.1 innings, surrendering five hits and seven earned runs on 70 pitches. The bullpen wouldn’t provide any relief, surrendering 14 more runs before the game was called due to the run rule in the seventh inning. The 18-run loss was the worst of the season for the Horned Frogs.

The Frogs surrendered 20 hits in the defeat, three belonging to Red Raiders’ left fielder Grant Little. Little led Texas Tech’s offensive explosion with 5 RBIs on a bases clearing double and two-run home run.

TCU struck first in the contest after Cam Warner hit a sac fly that scored Austen Wade in the first inning, followed by a Nolan Brown RBI single that made it a 2-0 game. It was all Texas Tech from that point on though, scoring three runs off Howard in the bottom half of the inning to begin a stretch of 21 unanswered runs.

The Red Raiders extended their lead to 4-2 in the second when Howard surrendered a solo home run to designated hitter John McMillon. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle pulled Howard in favor for Trey Morris the next inning after surrendering another RBI single, making it a 5-2 lead for Texas Tech.

Morris was unable to escape the jam for TCU though, surrendering a two-out bases-loaded double to Little that broke the game open at 8-2. An ensuing single made it 9-2 before the inning came to an end.

The bullpen situation for the Frogs didn’t get any better in the fourth, as TCU was forced to burn three pitchers in a seven-run frame for Texas Tech that made it 16-2. Dalton Horton, who began the inning in relief of Morris, failed to record an out before being replaced by Dalton Brown. A two-run homer with two outs forced Schlossnagle to call on Austin Boyles for the final out of the inning.

Boyles stayed on the mound for the fifth inning, but surrendered three runs on back-to-back homers with two outs to put TCU down 19-2. In the sixth inning, Cal Coughlin, the Frogs' sixth pitcher in as many innings, gave up two more runs on a single and double before inducing an inning-ending double-play.

The Frogs got one run back in the top of the seventh on a throwing error that scored Michael Landestoy from third base, but the run rule ended the game upon the completion of the top half of the inning. The Frogs ended the day with 8 hits and 12 men left on base – nobody recording more than one hit in the loss and none for extra bases.

The series loss, just the second in Big 12 play for TCU this season, dropped the Frogs to 31-11 on the season. Howard fell to 6-3.

TCU will resume play this week at home against Abilene Christian on Tuesday night - a previously suspended contest from March. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. from Lupton Stadium.

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