The first thing TCU junior Nolan Brown had to do Sunday was see if he could swing a bat.
So obviously, that meant he could dive for a fly ball and everything else.
“I mean ... might as well,” he said with a laugh.
Never miss a local story.
Clearly, the Horned Frogs’ right fielder — who had two hits, an RBI and a diving catch in Sunday’s 9-2 victory over Santa Clara at Lupton Stadium — is just fine, or close to it, after getting hit in the elbow by a relay throw between first and second base a day earlier.
The ball glanced off the bone, so he didn’t have any tissue soreness. Some ice took care of the rest.
“Eventually,” he said and smiled. “Once I could swing a bat, it was all right.”
Brown’s fly ball to center with the bases loaded in the fourth produced the day’s first run for TCU (30-8).
Dane Steinhagen’s two-run single made it 3-0, Keaton Jones added a run-scoring single, and Cody Jones added a sacrifice fly in the five-run inning.
Cody Jones added a two-run homer in the sixth, giving him a career-high 21 RBIs this season, and Connor Wanhanen added an RBI single as the Frogs, ranked sixth nationally (USA Today coaches’ poll) swept the three-game series from Santa Clara (16-22).
“I feel like I can contribute more than by just getting on base,” Jones said. “When there’s guys on base, I’m trying to get them in, too. The more guys you’re going to have squaring up balls in big situations, the better.”
Alex Young (7-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one, and gave up a two-run homer among five hits. He worked out of trouble in the fourth inning after giving up a walk and a single with no outs.
The day included the completion of Game 2, which required one pitch from Drew Gooch to finish a 6-1 victory a half-hour before the scheduled start of Game 3. Game 2 had been suspended Saturday because of lightning with two outs and no one on base with Santa Clara batting in the ninth.
It was a dominating weekend for the Frogs against a lower-tier West Coast Conference team. TCU outscored Santa Clara 16-3 and struck out 37 batters in 27 innings. The starting pitchers each earned wins, and setup man Trey Teakell and closer Riley Ferrell got quality work on Friday.
“I thought all three starting pitchers did well,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Really proud of Alex today, especially when he had first and second and nobody out. Those are some of the times he’s shown he kind of emotionally gets out of hand a little bit. He did a good job of making good pitches.”
The Frogs, who reached 30 wins for the 11th time under Schlossnagle, continue a seven-game homestand this week. They play Incarnate Word on Tuesday before resuming Big 12 play against Texas this weekend.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760