Mitchell Traver threw seven innings of one-run ball and TCU’s offense pestered Baylor with 10 singles Friday night to open Big 12 play with a 3-1 win at Lupton Stadium.
Cody Jones led third-ranked TCU (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) at the plate, batting 4 for 4, which included an RBI infield single in the third inning to give the Frogs their first run. Two batters later, Derek Odell grounded into a double play that was good enough to score Dane Steinhagen, who had singled.
Meanwhile, Traver (3-0) limited Baylor to four hits, including a home run, facing just two batters above the minimum. The sophomore right-hander struck out six in his second Friday start of the season.
“I’ve been saying all week, it’s just another day, whether you’re throwing Tuesdays or Fridays,” Traver said. “It should be the same thing.”
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Aaron Dodson’s two-out solo shot put the Bears on the board in the seventh inning. Before that, they had trouble advancing runners, thanks to Traver and the Frogs’ timely defense.
In the third, Steven McLean singled off Traver with one out. But Traver struck out the next batter, Levi Gilcrease, while catcher Evan Skoug caught McLean trying to steal second base.
Traver gave up a leadoff single to Logan Brown in the fourth but picked off Brown, who was also attempting to swipe second. Baylor (6-10, 0-1) put two runners on base in the fifth inning with a leadoff single and a walk. But when Justin Arrington striped a grounder up the middle, Traver snagged it and pivoted for a throw to Keaton Jones, who completed an inning-ending double play.
“Two years ago, [Traver] was self-admittedly afraid to pick or throw to first base — it was the worst part of his game,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “And those were the plays of the night, the pickoff and the 1-6-3 double play, and he made a nice play on the bunt when they tried to bunt against him.”
Baylor starter Drew Tolson lasted 6 1/3 innings, exiting after Cody Jones roped a single up the middle for his fourth hit.
Riley Ferrell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save of the season. Friday was Schlossnagle’s 700th game as TCU’s coach.
TCU and Baylor will play again at 2 p.m. Saturday. Preston Morrison (3-0, 0.75 ERA) will start for the Frogs against left-hander Daniel Castano (0-2, 2.65).