Garrett Crain and Nolan Brown both drove in three runs, Derek Odell scored twice, and TCU beat UT Pan American 11-5 on Wednesday night at Lupton Stadium.
Starter Tyler Alexander threw seven innings and gave up two runs, those coming on only one swing — a line-drive homer by Logan Landon. Other than that, Alexander (1-1) was sharp, striking out a career-high nine.
It was the sophomore’s second midweek start after he started the season in the weekend rotation.
“We’re going to need him to pitch really, really well the rest of the season in that role, if that’s where he stays,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Some of the best teams we have left on our schedule aren’t played on the weekend.”
The Horned Frogs, No. 1 in three of five national rankings, improved to 16-2 for the team’s best start under Schlossnagle. The 1985 team (19-2) had the best start in program history.
Wednesday was TCU’s second night in a row playing the Broncs, and the Frogs started fast again behind Odell, who collected his second straight multi-hit game. He had three hits in Tuesday’s 5-0 win.
In the first inning Wednesday, Odell singled to score Cody Jones, who led off with a four-pitch walk and took second on a walk to freshman Austen Wade, making his first start. Evan Skoug drove in Wade on an error by the second baseman. Crain then singled home Odell, and Skoug stole home to put TCU up 4-0.
Landon’s home run in the third cut the Frogs’ lead in half, but TCU answered with two runs and then three more in the fourth. Lee Rios hit a three-run homer off Travis Evans with two outs in the ninth.
The Frogs now turn their attention back to Big 12 play with a series against Oklahoma State at home this weekend. Right-hander Mitchell Traver will start Friday for TCU.
“They mix and match and do a lot of different things on the mound, they’re a very athletic team, they have power in the middle of the order,” Schlossnagle said of the Cowboys. “And they’re the reigning conference [regular-season] champion, so until somebody wins the league this year, Oklahoma State’s the team to beat.”
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760