⚾️ No. 24 TCU Scores Two in the Eighth to Win 8-6
FORT WORTH, Texas – The conference opener on Friday night at Lupton Stadium was a back-and-forth battle that ended with the No. 24-ranked TCU Horned Frogs beating the Kansas Jayhawks 8-6. Sophomore LSU transfer Luke Leto and junior Cowley Community College transfer Janson Reeder each hit home runs in the game.
Leto came up for his first at-bat with two outs in the second inning and took the first pitch over the center field wall. The blast was the fourth of the season by Leto and gave Kansas a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long as TCU evened the game with a run in the bottom of the second. After a leadoff single, Elijah Nunez hit a double down the right field line to score the tying run.
Kansas responded and took the lead again in the third. Redshirt sophomore Jackson Cobb walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. An infield single by freshman Jackson Kline moved Cobb over to third with one out. Sophomore Chase Jans then drove in Cobb on an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 2-1 Jayhawks.
In the fourth inning, TCU once again answered. Cole Fontenelle hit a solo home run for his fourth homer of the season. The long ball tied the game at 2-2.
For the third time, Kansas took the lead in the game. A leadoff walk to Kline and a single by senior Cal transfer Cole Elvis put runners on the corners with one out for Reeder. Reeder worked a full count and on the seventh pitch of the at-bat he sent the ball out to right field for a three-run homer. His team-high fifth home run of the season put Kansas ahead 5-2.
TCU (13-9) came out in the sixth and put up four runs in the inning. A double and single forced Kansas starter Collin Baumgartner out of the game. Nunez was the first batter Kansas reliever Ethan Bradford faced and he hit a 2-run double to left field to cut the score to 5-4. After getting the next two outs, a run scored on a throwing error to tie it and an RBI single by Tre Richardson gave TCU a 6-5 advantage.
The Jayhawks continued to fight as redshirt junior LSU transfer Collier Cranford led off the eighth inning with a double. TCU got the next two outs before Kline drew his third walk of the game. The Horned Frogs went to the bullpen before Jans came up to bat. On the first pitch, Jans sent a ball to right field to score Cranford from second base and tie the game at 6-6.
The bottom of the eighth began with a leadoff triple by Luke Boyers after Leto slipped and fell in right field while tracking the ball. Richardson drove him in on the next at-bat to take a 7-6 lead. Fontenelle would drive in Richardson on an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 8-6.
Baumgartner tossed 5.0+ innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, while walking none and striking out four. He did not receive a decision in Friday’s game. Bradford was given the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, in three innings of relief.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Garrett Wright (1-1)
Final line: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
Save: Louis Rodriguez (3)
Final line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
Loss: Ethan Bradford (2-2)
Final line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
“Another great outing from Baumgartner. Certainly disappointed with the outcome but not at all disappointed with the effort and intent from our guys. We need to get better in all phases, but we are certainly moving in a great direction. We will get after it tomorrow.” – Coach Dan Fitzgerald
• Jans extended his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games, which is the longest of the sophomore’s career and the longest by a Jayhawk this season.
• Leto hit his fourth home run of the season. The ball traveled 436 feet to center field, according to TrackMan data.
• Reeder’s 3-run homer was his team-high fifth home run of the season. He has five multi-RBI games this season.
Kansas (8-12) plays game two of its three-game series against No. 24 TCU on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. CT from Lupton Stadium.