For three innings Friday night, TCU’s offense looked very similar to the one that had struggled to get runners home for much of 2014.
Although the Horned Frogs scored a run in the third, they still stranded runners after a one-out double in the first and a one-out walk in the second, and left the bases loaded in the third.
That all changed in the fourth inning. TCU scored four times and handled Texas Tech 9-0 in Game 1 of a three-game Big 12 series in front of 4,242 at Lupton Stadium. Game 2 is 4 p.m. Saturday.
TCU starter Brandon Finnegan (4-2) struck out 10 and held Texas Tech to three singles and two walks in seven innings.
The Red Raiders (17-7, 1-3 Big 12) only had one base runner advance to second base. That came after a leadoff walk by Hunter Redman in the sixth. He made it to second on Ryan Long’s single to right, but Finnegan struck out Eric Gutierrez to end the inning. In the seventh, Finnegan struck out the side, getting Broadbent swinging on an 81 mph slider in the dirt.
“We have been up and down and haven’t actually had a streak yet, so hopefully this will put us on that streak and get us in the right direction,” Finnegan said. “Tech has been playing well.”
TCU (13-8, 1-0) jumped on Tech starter Dominic Moreno.
With two outs in the fourth, Dylan Fitzgerald and Kevin Cron both doubled in a run followed by Derek Odell’s run-scoring single to chase Moreno and give TCU a 5-0 lead. Moreno (1-4) hadn’t allowed more than a run in each of his five previous starts.
“We’ve done a great job of grinding out at-bats all season,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “That’s good. We’re getting guys on base. Last year, we didn’t get them on and we didn’t score.”
TCU had 12 hits, its third consecutive game with 10 or more hits. The Frogs also had five doubles, including two each from Cron and Fitzgerald.
“That was as close to a traditional TCU baseball game as I’ve seen in a year and a half,” Schlossnagle said.