Friday night must have made TCU mad.
“It seemed like it,” third baseman Elliott Barzilli said with a laugh Sunday after a 16-1 win completed a series victory against Gonzaga. “We don’t like losing. I don’t like losing.”
No need to worry about that Saturday and Sunday. After a 5-4 loss in the series opener on Friday night, TCU won the next two games by a 26-3 margin, putting up 13 extra-base hits alone.
“Friday night was a tough one for us — we had a couple things not go our way, and tip your cap to that guy who threw well on Friday,” said catcher Evan Skoug, who drove in four runs Sunday and hit his first career triple. “But our big thing this weekend was just win the series. So Saturday, we came out a little [ticked] off, and Sunday we tried to come out with as much energy as possible. We had to come out fired up. That’s exactly what we did.”
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TCU has outscored its opponents 95-17 in 11 games, has scored 10 or more runs six times and has won by 10 or more runs four times.
TCU (9-2) batted around in back-to-back innings Sunday. A five-run third began with Mason Hesse’s two-run triple. A 10-run fourth featured two-run singles from Josh Watson, Ryan Merrill and Dane Steinhagen, and later, Skoug’s bases-loaded triple to deep right.
Everyone in the original lineup had a hit. Five had an extra-base hit. And the 16 hits were a season high.
Sure looked like a team with an edge.
“I didn’t notice any difference,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “I didn’t feel like we were lazy or not into it on Friday night. ... I just told them, that’s a sign of good things when you come back after a one-run loss, a tough loss, and play really well in all phases of the game.”
That’s a sign of good things when you come back after a one-run loss, a tough loss, and play really well in all phases of the game.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle
Sunday was the fourth victory by 10 or more runs for TCU this season. The team is slugging .509 with 25 doubles, nine triples and eight home runs in 11 games. The Frogs have outscored their opponents 95-17.
So maybe it makes sense if Friday’s loss, with eight runners left on base, had stunned them.
“Not so much,” he said. “We were just kind of upset about how we played. Like the opening weekend. That Friday didn’t go so well for us. It was just such a close ballgame, and we had our opportunities. But I’m really proud of how this team handled its business on Saturday and Sunday. That’s really big for us.”
Rex Hill (1-0) won his first game in three starts for TCU, allowing an unearned run in six innings. He struck out seven for the second time in three starts and leads the team with 19 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.
“I thought Rex did a great job, especially with the back-to-back long innings,” Schlossnagle said. “He couldn’t really find a rhythm. But he got his changeup going, kept the ball down a lot better. Normally, he pitches up in the strike zone early in games. And today, he was in the bottom of the zone from the get-go.”
509 Slugging percentage for TCU after 11 games. The Horned Frogs have 25 doubles, nine triples and eight home runs.
Connor Wanhanen singled twice in the fourth inning. Luken Baker, Josh Watson, Austen Wade, Skoug and Barzilli also had multiple-hit games for TCU.
Barzilli, the Big 12’s leading hitter, raised his average to .512 by going 2-for-3. He walked twice and drove in two runs.
“I think it made us hungry,” he said of the Friday night loss. “It made us want to take it to them both games Saturday and Sunday.”
He barely looked mad.