TCU’s lead was dwindling.
The Horned Frogs had led by six Tuesday night before a UT Arlington rally cut the gap to two in the seventh inning. But when TCU came to bat in the eighth, the Frogs resorted to what got them ahead early in the game: working the count, getting on base, finding a timely hit.
It didn’t take long for the Frogs’ lead to grow again.
TCU scored four times in the eighth inning after drawing three walks on its way to a 12-6 win over the Mavericks at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington.
Kyle Bacak’s two-out single drove in two runs, and a throwing error scored another as the Frogs ended the comeback hopes of UTA (12-17), which had already battled back from a 7-1 deficit.
Matt Shortall knocked TCU (16-12) starter Jordan Kipper out of the game with an RBI double in the seventh. Reliever Travis Evans hit the first batter he saw, loading the bases for Greg McCall, who roped a double to cut the Frogs’ lead to 7-5.
Evans walked another and was pulled before recording an out. Tyler Alexander then walked his first batter, loading the bases again. After running the count to 1-2, Alexander went inside with a breaking ball to Travis Sibley. The ball was hit to Jerrick Suiter at first base, who bobbled it but got it to Alexander for the out.
“They have a lot of good hitters in the middle of the order, and we answered right back,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “That’s something we haven’t done a lot, certainly this year or the last two years.”
Suiter paced TCU early in the game with three RBI singles in the first three innings as the Frogs chased UTA starter Justin Schnedler after 60 pitches. TCU drew seven walks in the game.
“[Staying patient] is huge,” Suiter said. “Our goal is to get on base. Coach Schlossnagle preaches having quality at-bats and getting walks is one of those things.”
Kipper went 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and four runs, three of which were earned. He struck out seven.
Kevin Cron hit his second home run of the season with a two-run shot in the seventh inning. Dylan Fitzgerald led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, his first of the season.
TCU has a home series with West Virginia starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.