TCU

Janczak, Frogs reboot after rough start and win 10th straight

TCU designated hitter Luken Baker is greeted at home plate after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning Friday night against Murray State.
TCU designated hitter Luken Baker is greeted at home plate after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning Friday night against Murray State. rmallison@star-telegram.com

TCU won its 10th straight game Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against Murray State, but coach Jim Schlossnagle isn’t counting.

“I don’t pay attention to that,” he said. “I just pay attention to how we’re playing relative to our potential.”

Which explains why he liked Jared Janczak’s reaction to a rocky start in the Horned Frogs’ 9-2 victory at Lupton Stadium. The veteran right-hander gave up five hits and two unearned runs in the first four innings, victimized by two errors that resulted in unturned double-play chances.

He also helped create trouble with two walks, one with the bases loaded. But he finished strong and picked up a team-leading sixth victory and lowered his ERA to 1.79.

“The sign of an advanced pitcher is he has the ability to forget about what’s happened and kind of restart his game,” Schlossnagle said. “Whereas a younger pitcher, once it goes sideways, you can’t get it back. You can only figure that out from experience.”

The Horned Frogs’ two home runs pushed their season total to 27. Elliott Barzilli hit his third and Luken Baker hit his sixth.

After the bases-loaded walk in the fourth, Janczak (6-0) did get a nice play behind him. Second baseman Cam Warner started a double play with a glove flip to shortstop Ryan Merrill, and first baseman Connor Wanhanen dug out the relay to finish the fourth inning and protect a 5-2 lead.

After that, Janczak retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings with 30 pitches. Charles King did the same in the eighth and ninth.

“I said, ‘Just restart your game, that’s all you’ve got to do — go out and be who you are,’ ” Schlossnagle said of his conversation with Janczak. “ ‘You’re a ground-ball pitcher, you got ground balls, it just happens some of them got through and we kicked a couple of them.’ His pace was slow; he kind of felt his way around the strike zone. That’s not who he is. The last three innings is who he is.”

The last three innings is who he is.

TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle, on Jared Janczak

Elliott Barzilli’s two-run home run in the second inning gave Janczak and the Frogs (24-5) their first lead, at 2-1, and Luken Baker’s two-run home run highlighted a three-run third inning.

Warner singled in two runs in the sixth inning, reaching 30 RBIs, and Barzilli added an RBI double in the seventh inning.

Evan Skoug had two hits, including an RBI single in the third inning.

The 10 consecutive victories marks the longest win streak for TCU since a 13-game streak in 2014. It’s the fifth double-digit win streak for TCU in 14 seasons under Schlossnagle.

Murray State of the Ohio Valley Conference fell to 15-14.

Brian Howard pitches seven strong innings, and TCU goes to 5-1 in the Big 12 with a three-game home sweep.

TCU scores a late-inning run to clinch a Big 12 series against Oklahoma State, encouraging the head coach after a performance with some 'grit.'

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

Murray St.

010

100

000

— 2

5

2

TCU

023

002

20x

— 9

10

2

Dills, Lollar (6) and Moore, Chilton (8). Janczak, King (8) and Skoug. W—Janczak (6-0). L—Dills (2-1). 2B—TCU: Barzilli (9). HR—TCU: Baker (6), Barzilli (3). HBP—TCU: Wade, Watson, Brown (2). SF—MSU: Perkins (3). SB—MSU: Gutzler (4). CS—MSU: Moore (2). LOB—MSU 5, TCU 8. E—MSU: Hranec (2), Lollar (1); TCU: Warner (3), Merrill (7). DP—TCU 1. T—2:34. A—5,024. RECORDS—TCU 24-5; MSU 15-14.

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