TCU

TCU baseball drops opener of key series at Texas

TCU's A.J.  Balta, in action during a game against Texas Tech on April 29, hit a solo home run in Thursday's 3-2 loss to Texas in Austin.
TCU's A.J. Balta, in action during a game against Texas Tech on April 29, hit a solo home run in Thursday's 3-2 loss to Texas in Austin. Special to the Star-Telegram

Texas junior Nolan Kingham tossed a six-hit complete game as Texas cooled off TCU 3-2 Thursday night in Austin in the opener of a pivotal series between the two Big 12 clubs.

After a rough stretch midway through the season, TCU (30-20, 10-11 Big 12) had won 11 of 13 entering Thursday's matchup. The Horned Frogs are hoping to boost their RPI (ratings percentage index) heading into next week's Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.

But Texas (35-18, 15-7) jumped out to a 3-0 lead through five innings off TCU starter Nick Lodolo, thanks in part to Mason Hibbeler's two-out home run to left in the fifth.

The Horned Frogs fought back with two seventh-inning runs, including A.J. Balta's leadoff homer to right and Connor Wanhanen's two-out single to drive in Johnny Rizer.

Kingham (7-2) then retired TCU in order in the final two innings to secure the victory for Texas. He struck out six and walked two.

Lodolo (6-4) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in 5 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and three walks.

Game 2 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday and will be televised on Longhorn Network.

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