UT Pan American pitchers were in a giving mood, and TCU did what any struggling team should do: the Horned Frogs took what the Broncs were giving.
And they took some more.
TCU drew 10 walks, and Dylan Fitzgerald had four RBIs in the Frogs’ 11-0 win Tuesday night against UTPA at Lupton Stadium.
Right-hander Brian Howard will make his first career start for TCU against the Broncs (11-16) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
TCU (14-10) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Jeremie Fagnan’s infield single scored Derek Odell, and Boomer White scored from third on Keaton Jones’ sacrifice bunt on a safety squeeze.
In the fifth and sixth, TCU batted around to break the game open. In the fifth, two walks and a bunt single set up Dylan Fitzgerald’s three-run triple down the first base line. Fitzgerald scored on White’s two-out infield single that bounced off the pitcher, and Fagnan’s double to right scored White to give TCU a 7-0 lead.
“I was looking for a fastball, and I got one low and inside,” Fitzgerald said. “Thankfully, I got my bat to the ball. It just stayed inside the line.”
TCU added four more runs in the sixth as UTPA pitchers struggled with their command, walking three consecutive batters, including Fitzgerald with the bases loaded. Odell’s two-run single finished off the scoring.
“We’ll take it, but we’ve shown the ability to play really well for one game,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We need to do it for an extended period of time, so that’s our challenge.”
Frogs starting pitcher Jordan Kipper recovered from his own command issues after he walked two in the first. He regrouped and recorded two swinging strikeouts to end the threat.
In the fifth, he worked out of a jam after two singles gave the Broncs runners on the corners with one out. He struck out leadoff hitter Alex Howe and forced a flyout to end the inning.
Kipper (2-2) held UTPA to four hits and struck out seven in five innings. Alex Young, Travis Evans and Riley Ferrell combined to hold the Broncs to two hits over the last four innings.
“He was just missing low, and once he made the adjustment, I thought he looked really good,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought he could have had success against a lot of teams tonight.”