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Baseball: TCU scores Big 12 sweep against Baylor

TCU baseball continued to gain momentum this past weekend, with the Horned Frogs traveling to Waco and scoring a crucial Big 12 Conference sweep over the Bears. TCU (29-16, 13-14 Big 12) has now won six of its last seven games and will play the final seven games of the regular season at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs will host a three-game non-conference series against New Mexico State next weekend before wrapping up Big 12 action with conference matchups against Baylor and West Virginia.

Friday: TCU 7, Baylor 1

The Horned Frogs trailed 1-0 after the Bears took the lead on an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning. TCU tied the score on a solo home run by freshman Sam Myers in the top of the fourth inning and the Horned Frogs took a 2-1 lead on Ryder Robinson’s sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning. TCU broke the game open in the top of the ninth inning, scoring five runs on a bases-loaded walk by Karson Bowen and a grand slam by Jack Arthur. Arthur went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the charge in the victory.

Left-hander Payton Tolle took the ball to start the game, pitching six and a third innings, striking out eight batters and holding Baylor to one unearned run. Right-hander Hunter Hodges closed out the seventh inning for Tolle and left-hander Ben Abeldt fired the final two innings and earned his fifth save of the season, striking out one with one hit allowed.

Saturday: TCU 9, Baylor 7

The Horned Frogs ran into trouble early, with Baylor scoring two runs on a double in the bottom of the first inning before adding four runs on two home runs and a triple in the bottom of the second inning. Logan Maxwell hit a solo shot for TCU in the top of the first inning, while Kurtis Byrne hit an RBI double in the top of the third inning to make it 6-2. The Horned Frogs scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning, where Anthony Silva sent a two-run homer down the stretch and Byrne followed with a solo blast of his own.

Silva’s RBI groundout in the top of the sixth inning made it 6-6. The game remained tied after nine innings, as both teams failed to break through in the later frames. TCU struck first in the extras, scoring three runs on RBI singles by Sam Myers and Luke Boyers, as well as a sacrifice fly by Byrne, in the top of the 11th inning. While Baylor scored one run in the bottom of the 11th, the Bears were unable to rally and tie the score.

Right-hander Zachary Cawyer pitched five innings in relief, striking out six batters and earning the win, moving to 6-1 on the season. Left-hander Ben Abeldt followed and fired a scoreless frame in the 11th inning, recording his sixth save of the season for TCU. The Horned Frogs also got a big relief boost from right-hander Kole Klecker, who pitched four scoreless innings and struck out six without allowing a hit.

Sunday: TCU 10, Baylor 6

The Horned Frogs showed their strength in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs on home runs by Logan Maxwell, Luke Boyers and Karson Bowen. Maxwell added an RBI single in the top of the second inning and Boyers recorded an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth inning, allowing TCU to take an 8-1 lead. Baylor fought back into the game with one run in the bottom of the fifth and three runs on a double and a groundout in the bottom of the seventh.

Bowen helped TCU win the series with a two-run single in the top of the ninth inning, giving the Horned Frogs a 10-5 lead. Right-hander Louis Rodriguez started on the mound, pitching five innings and striking out six with zero walks to earn the win. Left-hander Ben Abeldt appeared for the third straight game and recorded his seventh save of the season, throwing two-thirds of a frame.