By Jamie Plunkett
Frogs Today staff writer
FORT WORTH – TCU let a 5-1 lead slip away, losing to Dallas Baptist 6-5 on Tuesday night. It’s the second time this season TCU has dropped a game to the Patriots, losing in Dallas 6-1 on April 12. It’s TCU’s fifth consecutive loss to DBU dating back to 2019.
“We’ve got to get ready to practice tomorrow,” TCU coach Kirk Saarloos said after the loss. “Remember what that feels like. They beat us earlier in the year and now they beat us here. We’re going to run into them again probably, later on this year.”
Caedmon Parker made his sixth start of the season for the Frogs, pitching four innings, striking out four, and allowing just one run. The freshman has continued to develop his off speed pitches over the course of the season, and is using them to greater effect as of late.
The Frogs jumped out to an early lead, which began when Tommy Sacco reached base in the first inning after being hit by a pitch. Sacco stole second as Brayden Taylor struck out, but scored moments later thanks to a double off the bat of Kurtis Byrne.
DBU leveled things at 1-1 after getting to Caedmon Parker a bit in the second inning. Parker walked the leadoff batter on four consecutive pitches, then conceded a double to put runners on the corners.
The Frogs put the shift on, but a softly hit ball down the third base line brought home a run for the Patriots.
TCU took the lead back in the bottom of the third. Taylor singled home Sam Thompson, giving the Frogs a 2-1 lead, before a ground ball to second base scored Sacco.
The Frogs added two more runs to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on the corners, Rodgers attempted to steal second. DBU catcher Ryan Wrobleski’s throw was wide of the base, and it trickled into center field, allowing Luke Boyers to score and Rodgers to advance to third.
Elijah Nunez then hit a line drive off the third baseman’s glove, which scored Rodgers, giving TCU a 5-1 lead.
DBU cut into TCU’s lead in the top of the sixth with a run, making it 5-2 TCU.
TCU and Drew Hill managed to wiggle out of trouble in the seventh inning. The Patriots loaded the bases with one out, but a strikeout, followed by a ground out to Reed Spenrath at first base, got the Frogs out the inning.
The Patriots continued to put pressure on the Frogs, though, and in the eighth they broke through. DBU scored four runs on six hits, working through Hill, then River Ridings, before Saarloos called on Garrett Wright. Wright conceded the final two hits of the inning, but the runs were credited to Ridings. When the dust settled, the Patriots held a 6-5 lead.
TCU’s half of the eighth inning ended after an umpire review. With runners on second and third, Luke Boyers hit a high bouncing ground ball to first base. The first baseman, celebrating the out, seemed to throw the ball back to the mound before actually stepping on the base. After a review, the umpire upheld the out, as it was called live.
In the ninth inning, TCU fans got their first look at Michael Petrie, who entered the game for Kurtis Byrne behind the plate. Petrie, a graduate transfer from Washington, suffered a broken wrist in TCU’s first game of the season, during the MLB4 Tournament in Arizona. Petrie was expected to split time behind the plate with Byrne, but in his absence Byrne has assumed the role essentially full time.
Petrie helped Wright navigate three straight strikeouts to retire the side, giving the Frogs one final chance at a comeback in the bottom of the ninth.
Sam Thompson reached base on a walk, and advanced to second base on a passed ball, but TCU couldn’t bring him home to tie the game. Tommy Sacco flew out to center field to end the game.
There’s a good chance Petrie sees some time behind the plate this weekend, depending on how his week goes.
“His big deal is he’s got to face live pitching,” Saarloos said, “His catching is way ahead of the hitting part of it.”
Saarloos went on to say that Petrie will face live pitching this week, against some of the bullpen arms who didn’t pitch against DBU on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, David Bishop is still suffering from a tender hand/wrist after being hit by a pitch Saturday against Oklahoma State. Bishop has also been working through a nagging hamstring injury over the past several weeks, which has kept him out of the past handful of midweek games.
TCU now prepares to head to Tallahassee, Fl. for a three game series against Florida State. Saarloos confirmed that the starting rotation will remain the same, and Austin Krob will work out of the bullpen.
“Do we use him once on Friday and once on Sunday? I don’t know, we’ll see,” Saarloos said. “We’ll see how he feels, and see what’s best in terms of what we need to do to win a game.”