Big 12 Baseball

TCU Playing Its Best Baseball At Perfect Time of Season

TCU's Luke Boyers. (Big 12 photo by Tim Heitman)

ARLINGTON, Texas — No one’s sure where the TCU Horned Frogs will end up in the NCAA Tournament. The field won’t be announced until Monday.

But this much is clear after the Horned Frogs dismantled Oklahoma State, 12-5, in the Big 12 Baseball Championship Game on Sunday at Globe Life Field:


TCU is gonna be trouble, and few would have put money on that a month ago.

“Everybody just did their job and tried not to do too much and handed the baton to the next guy,” TCU head coach Kirk Saarloos said. “And I think when that started to happen, you know, I think you can see what what’s transpired.”

At the end of April the Horned Frogs looked dead in the water. They were 23-20 overall after losing to Texas, 3-2, on April 30. That capped an April in which TCU lost seven of its final eight games.

But in reality, it was the road trip to Morgantown the weekend before, a sweep at the hands of the Mountaineers on April 21-23, that really set all of this in motion.

“Getting swept there was probably the low part of our season,” Saarloos said. “You know, I gotta give the credit to these guys. They just they kept showing up, they kept coming to work. And there wasn’t really any big, huge turning point. I think we were just tired of losing.”

When the calendar turned to May, the Horned Frogs blossomed like May flowers, as the saying goes.

TCU finished 14-2 for the month. TCU scored at least 10 runs in seven of those games. The Horned Frogs run-ruled their first two Big 12 Tournament opponents. They had 10 or more hits in three of their tournament games. Somehow, TCU beat Kansas State, 6-3, on Saturday, with just three hits.

TCU scored 48 runs, clobbered 55 hits and slugged six home runs in their four Big 12 Tournament games. The Horned Frogs were the only team to get through this gauntlet without a loss.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a team hitting the ball better than the Horned Frogs right now. They’ve gotten hot at the perfect time.


“If you pay close attention, they’ve been very offensive,” Oklahoma State Josh Holliday said. “They’re good. They have some pop. They have great base running skills, they don’t strike out and they’re highly athletic throughout the lineup. They’re very good. I mean, I’m not surprised that they played well here.”

TCU jumped on Oklahoma State (41-18) for four runs in the second inning and four more in the third to go up 8-2 after three innings. By then, TCU had 10 hits and Luke Boyers had his seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot in the top of the second.

From there, the Horned Frogs cruised. Nolan Schubart’s three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh cut the lead to 10-5, but the Cowboys never seriously threatened the Horned Frogs.

Brayden Taylor made sure of that with a two-run shot in the top of the eighth that just added to his TCU career record for home runs.

When the Horned Frogs get to the last day of the league tournament, they’ve basically money. And they know it.


TCU (37-22) won its fourth Big 12 Tournament title on Sunday. The Horned Frogs have won titles in three different conferences (Conference USA and the Mountain West), have won 10 league tournament titles since 2004 and are now 9-1 in league title games. The 10th was a rained-out title game against Tulane in 2005 and the two teams shared the tournament title.

This program has made the transition from Jim Schlossnagle — who left for Texas A&M two seasons ago — to Kirk Saarloos, the former’s pitching coach for nine seasons. Since joining the Big 12 the Horned Frogs have reached the College World Series four times (2014-17).

Now, Saarloos will try to lead his Horned Frogs back to Omaha for the first time as a head coach.

One would be unwise to count TCU out. They certainly have the bats to get the job done.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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