By Ray Cartwright
Frogs Today Staff Writer
TCU wrapped up it’s final weekend series at home by sweeping away the Baylor Bears.
TCU danced with Mother Nature all weekend moving the start time up for Friday’s game, Saturday, they were able to move the game to Globe Life Field in Arlington thanks to the generosity of the Texas Rangers, and on Sunday the game was delayed two hours and it was dreary the entire game.
“I can’t say enough about the Rangers, the whole organization over there in terms of being so hospitable at the drop of a hat,” coach Kirk Saarloos said. “I want to say thanks to the Rangers, I’ve never been around an organization or a Major League Baseball team that caters so much to amateur baseball, as the Rangers do, very appreciative.”
Despite the weather conditions and all of the moving around, that did not deter TCU.
The Frogs starting pitching when needed the most came up huge on the weekend. All three starters went five plus innings for the first time this season and had a final combined stat line of 18.2 innings, 2 earned runs, and 8 strikeouts.
Freshman Louis Rodriguez got the ball rolling on Friday with the best outing of his young career. Rodriguez went 6.1 innings only allowed one run, and struck out five on the day.
“I’m just trying to get my team as far as possible,” Rodriguez said. “Just trying to bullpen fresh by going out there and continuing to do what I do.”
Rodriguez has been huge for the Frogs when they’ve needed him the most. This was Rodriguez’s third consecutive start of pitching six plus innings, the first time a TCU starter has done that this season.
This was also the first time since March 24th when TCU beat Kansas, that they were able to win game one of a weekend series.
The offense was led by their star third baseman, Brayden Taylor. Taylor went two for four on the day driving in two runs and launching his 16th home run of the season.
“It was big time, we haven’t done that in awhile [game one win] felt good to get back out there and get on our routine.” Taylor said.
TCU also ran wild on the base paths, stealing seven bases in the game.
Even though Baylor is a bottom of the Big 12 team, every weekend series in one game they will give you fits and all that you can handle. That game was on Saturday.
With the game moved to Globe Life Field, and a 7 p.m. start, TCU handed the ball to freshman Kole Klecker. Klecker who has battled arm fatigue the last couple of weeks took the ball and ran with it, throwing one of his best starts in his young career.
Klecker dazzled on the mound holding Baylor scoreless through his 7 innings of work. For Klecker’s efforts he was named Big 12 pitcher-of-the-week in the conference.
TCU did enough damage early to get the win, in the second inning Luke Boyers singled up the middle driving in Anthony Silva giving the Frogs a 2-0 lead, that’s all they would need to get the win.
Things did get a little hairy for the Frogs in the 8th inning when Luke Savage was brought in and walked a couple of guys, only recording one out before Saarloos turned to his closer, Garrett Wright.
Wright was able to shut the door in the eighth.
With TCU unable to extend the lead in the bottom of the inning, Wright came back out for the ninth and was absolutely dominant. Wright struck out the side, the first time a TCU pitcher has done that all season.
Sunday for Mother’s Day, TCU had to battle drizzle and light rain all game. Sam Stoutenborough got the ball for the Frogs.
The very first batter he faced, he walked on four straight pitches and immediately called for the grounds crew to come attend to the mound, as he could not get proper footing. After that Stoutenborough was dominant the next five innings of work.
The Frog offense gave Stoutenborough plenty of support, scoring six in the first, one in the second, and two in the fifth.
TCU was once again led by their star Taylor. Taylor went four for five on the day, including a mammoth home run in the second. That was Taylor’s 17th home run of the season and 42nd of his career, he’s now only two away from tying TCU’s all-time home run mark of 44 set by Royce Huffman.
“It would be cool,” Taylor said. “I don’t necessarily keep track of stats, but it would be something cool to look at.”
Also homering for the Frogs was Elijah Nunez. That was Nunez’s first career home run at Lupton.
Next up for the Frogs is a big Tuesday night showdown with Texas State, this game can be a boost for TCU’s postseason résumé if they are able to get the win as Texas State sits 47th in RPI and TCU is 50th. This game will be at Lupton at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.