It was a game —a series — TCU baseball had to win.
TCU took two of three from No. 4 Texas Tech in a crucial series this weekend at Lupton Stadium, including a 9-5 win Sunday afternoon.
The three-game series drew 17,269 in attendance, the second-largest in Lupton Stadium history and the largest in regular-season history.
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The Horned Frogs (22-18, 8-9 in the Big 12) trailed 4-0 after the Red Raiders (33-12, 11-7) jumped on starter Haylen Green for four runs in the first inning. Green was charged with five runs on six hits and left after four innings.
Reliever Jake Eissler took over with a runner on first and no outs in the fifth and retired all 15 batters he faced, including a career-high 11 strikeouts. Eissler earned the win to improve to 3-1.
"Obviously, Eissler was amazing," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Hopefully, that will be a springboard for the rest of his season and his career."
Eissler's dynamic performance not only saved the day for the Frogs, but he helped preserve the bullpen. The Frogs play five non-conference games this week, beginning with a game at Abilene Christian at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. They host Dallas Baptist on Wednesday night before hosting Lamar for a three-game series beginning Friday.
"We didn't have a whole lot of pitching left," Schlossnagle said. "We needed someone to extend the game. His slider was the difference-maker. When you can make good, left-handed hitters, like they have, take bad swings or get bad looks on a right-handed breaking ball it's moving pretty good."
Four Frogs collected two hits apiece, including Josh Watson, whose solo homer in the fourth gave TCU the lead for good. Conner Shepherd's solo homer in the third tied the game at 5-5.
TCU has two Big 12 series remaining: against West Virginia (May 11-13) at Lupton Stadium and against Texas in Austin (May 17-19).