A day after getting no-hit for eight innings by TCU, Kansas returned the favor for seven innings Sunday behind Jackson Goddard and took a 4-3 victory in the finale of a Big 12 series at Lupton Stadium.
No. 9 hitter Owen Taylor hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning against reliever Sean Wymer, and the Horned Frogs stranded their fastest runner, Nolan Brown, as the tying run at third base in the bottom of the inning.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to them,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Kansas outplayed us today.”
It was still a series victory for the No. 3-ranked Frogs (14-5, 2-1), who tied the game with a three-run eighth inning after KU’s Goddard finally gave up a hit — Connor Wanhanen’s one-out double to left-center.
Austen Wade’s walk chased Goddard, and Cam Warner’s run-scoring single and Evan Skoug’s two-run single followed. Warner was retired on the bases, and after an intentional walk to Luken Baker, Josh Watson struck out, leaving the score tied.
TCU trailed for the 15th time in 19 games. The Horned Frogs are 10-5 in those games.
“Goddard looked like he stepped right out of a spring training game,” Schlossnagle said. “Mid-90s with a great changeup and serviceable breaking ball and throwing strikes. Thank goodness we got to him a little bit and made the game close. I didn’t think we were even going to come close to getting a runner in scoring position. He was outstanding.”
With one out in the ninth, Taylor hit his first home run of the season for the Jayhawks (9-10, 1-2), taking Wymer’s first pitch just over the fence in right. It was only the fifth hit and second run allowed in nine appearances by Wymer (1-1), who has become one of Schlossnagle’s most trusted relievers.
Brian Howard started and went 5 2/3 innings for TCU, giving up two runs on three hits, three walks and striking out four. It was his best outing since his season debut, but for the third time in five starts, Howard left with his team trailing.
I’m still not putting us in a position to win. That’s something I need to get better at. Compete more and put us in a position to win.
TCU starting pitcher Brian Howard
“I didn’t have my best stuff, and I didn’t put us in a place to win,” Howard said. “So, no, it wasn’t my best game. But I got some stuff I can build on from today and take into my next outing, whenever that is, and hopefully just pitch better for us.
“I’m still not putting us in a position to win. That’s something I need to get better at. Compete more and put us in a position to win.”
The Frogs, held to .198 hitting (18-for-91) and 11 runs in the series, play at Abilene Christian on Tuesday before returning to Lupton Stadium on Friday for a three-game set against Oklahoma State.
TCU and West Virginia are tied for second in the Big 12 after the opening weekend, a game behind Texas Tech, which swept a series at Texas.
Goddard, Villines (8) and Groshans. Howard, King (6), Eissler (8), Wymer (9) and Skoug. W—Villines (1-2). L—Wymer (1-1). 2B—KU: Karre (3); TCU: Wanhanen (1). HR—KSU: Taylor (1). HBP—KSU: Foyle. SH—KU: Souza-Paaluh (2); TCU: Williams (1). SB—KU: Cosentino (6). LOB—KU 10; TCU: 6. E—KU: Grassanovits (1). T—3:03. A—4,535. RECORDS—Kansas 9-10, 1-2 Big 12; TCU 14-5, 2-1 Big 12.