TCU needed a night like this.
A night when every pitch didn't feel like it carried the weight of the season on its leather.
The Horned Frogs' 15-5 win over Stephen F. Austin Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium wasn't important because of the lopsided score, but what that lopsided score allowed the Frogs to do for the first time in a while: take a breath, relax and play baseball.
The Horned Frogs (20-17), losers of three in a row in Waco, jumped on Lumberjacks pitching with five runs in the first, all charged to starter Jordan Powell, who left before the inning was over.
The 15 runs are the most by TCU in a game this season and the seventh time the Frogs have scored 10 or more runs. The did it nine times through the same amount of games a year ago.
"Guys got some confidence and hopefully that makes us feel a little better about ourselves going into a tough weekend," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. TCU opens a crucial Big 12 Conference series with No. 4 Texas Tech (32-10, 10-5 in the Big 12) this weekend at Lupton Stadium. "We’re not going to look at a positive thing negatively. We've earned the right to have a night like this."
Also, of consequence: TCU left-hander Russell Smith going a career-long six innings. He earned the win while holding SFA to three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out six. Two of the runs came on a two-run homer by Josh Evans in the sixth with the Frogs comfortably ahead 14-3. Smith's previous deepest outing was 4 2/3 on March 20.
Five Frogs collected two hits, including Michael Landestoy, A.J. Balta and Conner Shepherd, who combined to drive in 10 of the 15 runs.
SFA (14-26) walked a season-high 13 batters.
"I know the season hasn't gone the way we wanted so far but it's Opening Day the next day," said Landestoy, who had two hits, including a double and three RBIs. "That's our phrase. Obviously, that's a great way to show up after losing like that at Baylor."