By Ray Cartwright
Frogs Today staff writer
FORT WORTH – It was a lackluster performance out of the Frogs on Friday night in all aspects of the game.
TCU dropped the opening game of the weekend series against San Diego 14-2.
The bats were cold again for the Frogs as they scattered seven hits across nine innings. They couldn’t figure out San Diego starter James Sashin who gave up one run on six hits and struck out six in six innings of work.
Pitching was also a problem for the Frogs. TCU gave up 14 runs through the first five innings of the game.
Ryan Vanderhei, who has been great for TCU to start the season didn’t have his command tonight. In three innings of work, Vanderhei surrendered seven runs, six earned, on five hits, three walks, and he struck out five. Vanderhei was almost out of the first inning after giving up a single and walking two, when Elijah Nunez lost a line drive in the lights that cleared the bases. Vanderhei didn’t adjust well to adversity and was never able to truly find his command.
Calvin Marley came in relief for Vanderhei and did not register an out, walking all three batters he faced.
After the game head coach Kirk Saarloos used one word to describe tonights performance from the Frogs, “bad”.
Bright spot for the Frogs tonight was the pitching performance from freshman Jax Traeger. Traeger who made his collegiate debut Friday night went five strong innings, scattering five hits, allowing only one run, with no walks, and striking out four.
With a bullpen that is missing several arms due to injury this weekend, Traeger really saved the bullpen for the rest of the series for TCU.
“Awesome,” Saarloos said. “A guy that hasn’t pitched and goes five innings. I thought all that was was about competitiveness, that was it, plain and simple. He wanted the ball, and competitive grit and greatness is being ready when the opportunity is given to you. He’s earned himself a lot more opportunities.”
Brayden Taylor’s struggles at the plate continue, Taylor went 0-for-4 Friday night, and is now 2-for-26 over the last eight games. Taylor has eight walks and 11 strikeouts in that same time frame.
With conference play beginning next weekend in Norman, the Frogs are going to need Taylor to get back to being the All-American that everyone knows he can be.
David Bishop showed signs of getting out of the slump he has been in to start the year. Bishop went 2-for-3 with two singles, almost had a double, but was caught out at second trying to stretch a single into a double.
TCU tries to right the ship tomorrow when they will play game two of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Frogs will give the ball to freshman Kole Klecker. In his last outing against Louisville, Klecker went four innings allowing three runs, two of which were earned, and struck out three. For the season Klecker hasn’t walked a batter, and has struck out 14 while only allowing three earned runs in 12 1/3 innings of work.
The game can be seen on the Big 12 Network on ESPN+.