Derek Odell collected three hits and two RBIs to help TCU past UT Pan American 5-0 Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium.
Odell scored TCU’s first run after singling in the first inning, and he doubled for the Frogs’ next run, in the seventh , after TCU finally chased UTPA starter Parker Gallegos from the game.
A double by Cody Jones and a single by Connor Wanhanen knocked out Gallegos, who pitched six-plus innings and gave up three earned runs.
But at the time, No. 1 TCU (15-2) was still trying to put away the Broncs (10-7), even as the Frogs’ pitchers were en route to their fifth shutout of the season.
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After taking a 1-0 lead, the Frogs left runners on base in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings. They were retired in order — with two strikeouts — in the fourth. But with Jones and Wanhanen on in the seventh, Odell struck an 0-1 pitch that tailed away from UTPA left fielder Logan Landon to score Jones and advance Wanhanen to third base.
Two batters later, Garrett Crain grounded out to second base but drove in Wanhanen. TCU added two more runs in the eighth, the second coming again from Odell, who grounded an infield single off the pitcher’s glove to drive in Jones.
“We’re very used to playing close games — it’s been that way for three years now,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “If that has to be our M.O. to have a great season, then so be it. And honestly, I’m the one that has to get over it the most.”
Brian Howard (3-0) started for TCU and pitched four scoreless innings. He was relieved by Ryan Burnett, who navigated through 12/3 innings before Trey Teakell entered with an out in the sixth. By then, the Broncs had milked the Frogs for 92 pitches.
Teakell, usually the eighth-inning setup man, then struck out UTPA cleanup hitter Victor Garcia, Jr. After a single from Jacob Huckaby, Teakell induced a groundout to avoid trouble.
Brian Trieglaff pitched the eighth inning for TCU, and Preston Guillory closed the ninth.
The Frogs will play UTPA again Wednesday night at 6:30.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760