The TCU Horned Frogs started their NCAA Baseball Regional with a 12-4 win over McNeese on Friday night in Fort Worth. This caps off Day 1 of the NCAA Regionals with the Big 12 Conference going 3-1. Texas Tech and Texas both won their openers, while Oklahoma State lost to UC Santa Barbara. But with the Horned Frogs taking care of business on Friday night, here are my three takeaways from the game as TCU now gets set to face Dallas Baptist on Saturday.
1. Austin Krob
TCU starting pitcher Austin Krob pitched eight innings and struck out a career-high 13 batters (at one point retiring 12 of 13 batters he faced). Krob gave up a pair of singles to the first two batters he faced in the top of the ninth before being relieved by Harrison Beethe. He allowed just two runs in those eight innings and was a major key for the Frogs in their victory. Even if the TCU didn’t have the offense (which they had tonight), Austin Krob would have kept the Horned Frogs in the game. It’s always important to have great pitching and Austin Krob was excellent on Friday night.
2. Late Inning Drive
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, McNeese had a 2-1 lead. However, the TCU bats came alive in the seventh and eighth innings. Hunter Wolfe started the coring fest with a 2 RBI single before Gray Rogers did the same. Luke Boyers hit a two-run blast before the seventh inning was over. Then in the eight, Elijah Nunez, Phillip Sikes, and Tommy Sacco added some runs as well as the Frogs jumped out to a 12-2 lead going into the ninth inning.
3. What’s next?
TCU now faces a local team in Dallas Baptist. DBU beat Oregon State in the opening game, but TCU is a hot team. The Horned Frogs won the Big 12 tournament last week and are right on track to win their regional. Sophomore left-hander Russell Smith is expected to start for TCU. A win over DBU would be huge and would give them the driver’s seat at home. If TCU wins on Saturday, I have a hard time seeing any team beating them twice at home.