By the sixth inning, Austen Wade had five hits, and No. 3 TCU was on the way to a 13-2 run-rule victory against Murray State.
He put the feat in perspective.
“Honestly, to get to the plate five times by the sixth inning, everybody else in the lineup’s got to be hitting, too,” he said. “I got to the plate a bunch today, just put good swings on balls.”
The junior right fielder went 5-for-5, capping a career day with a two-run single in the sixth inning that gave the Horned Frogs a double-digit margin to close out the game in seven innings.
It was TCU’s 12th consecutive victory, one shy of the longest win streak in 14 seasons under coach Jim Schlossnagle. The 1993 team won 14 consecutive games, the most in TCU records dating to 1966.
I think the guys are playing with confidence, for sure. They’re expecting good things to happen, which is a big part of baseball.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle
“I think the guys are playing with confidence, for sure,” Schlossnagle said. “They’re expecting good things to happen, which is a big part of baseball, because it can definitely turn on you if you’re not careful.”
Cam Warner and Nolan Brown each had three-hit days, and Wade and Mason Hesse each drove in three runs. Evan Skoug, Luken Baker and Warner each had two RBIs, and Josh Watson had a sacrifice fly for the Frogs (26-5), who collected 35 hits in the series against the Racers (15-15) of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Brian Howard (5-2) struck out a career-high 11 in five innings. He gave up an earned run on four hits and three walks.
After going hitless in the series opener Friday, Wade was 8-for-10 with a hit by pitch and six runs batted in. In the 12-game hit streak, the second-year leadoff hitter is hitting .467 with a .556 on-base percentage.
He moved his season average from .313 to .342 with his five hits Sunday. Three weeks ago, he was hitting .267.
During a 12-game win streak, TCU is hitting .306 with a team earned-run average of 2.10 and outscoring the opposition 106-33.
“He’s consistently put good swings on pitches all year long,” Schlossnagle said. “He always puts together a great at-bat, uses the whole field. It’s good to see him get rewarded.”
Wade wasn’t discouraged by a hitless opener. A conversation with hitting coach Bill Mosiello reinforced his confidence.
“He said things will happen, just stick with it, stay the course,” Wade said. “Take that guy’s advice, things will end up working out for you.”
TCU is scheduled to play at Dallas Baptist on Tuesday night before resuming the Big 12 Conference schedule with a series starting Friday at West Virginia. The first-place Frogs lead West Virginia and Texas Tech by two games in the Big 12 standings.
Hranec, Carner (2), Whaley (5), Watson (5) and Moore. Howard, Morris (6), Coughlin (7) and Humphreys. W—Howard (5-2). L—Hranec (2-2). 2B—MSU: Gutzler (11); TCU: Wade (8), Brown (3), Hesse (1). HBP—MSU: Perkins, Sims. SF—TCU: Watson (5), Hesse (1). SB—MSU: Moore (7), Robinson (6); TCU: Skoug (2), Brown (16). LOB—MSU 8, TCU 8. E—MSU: Sims (8); TCU: Humphreys (1). DP—MSU: 1, TCU: 1. T—2:31. A—4,765. RECORDS—TCU 26-5; MSU 15-16.