Baseball drops series to No. 10 TCU

Heading into the fourth inning Saturday afternoon in Game 2 of Wichita State’s series against No. 6 Texas Christian University, WSU led 3-0. They looked as though they were poised and ready to bounce back from a late-game, Friday night loss to a marque opponent.

TCU scored two runs in the fourth inning, in the fifth inning they added two more, and in the sixth inning they gained the lead. With scores in each of the remaining innings, TCU racked up 17 runs. And from there on out, the series belonged to the Horned Frogs.

TCU avoided struggle with the WSU pitching rotation on the mound, and brought in 32 runs in three games to sweep the series, leaving Wichita unscathed.

Game 1

Redshirt junior Willie Schwanke entered as the weekend-starter for the Shockers. Through four innings, despite allowing six hits, Schwanke kept the box score empty for TCU.

Schwanke pitched a complete game, throwing five strikeouts and one walk. He allowed nine hits, and threw 109 pitches in nine innings of play.

Despite being out-hit by the Horned Frogs, nine to three, the WSU defense left batters on base, limiting action at home plate.

In the fifth inning, TCU pulled in help from the geographic area, when TCU senior Dane Steinhagen sent a fly-ball sailing high into center field. The strong-blowing Wichita winds carried the ball past centerfielder Mikel Mucha and the outfield wall for a solo-homerun, with that, TCU gained the lead and never let go.

TCU freshman Josh Watson tripled over the reach of WSU senior Ryan Tinkham, scoring two batters to extend the lead to 3-0 in the sixth inning, enough to solidify the win.

Tinkham recorded two of Wichita State’s three hits, with batters on base through four walks, WSU never rounded to home plate.

Game 2

WSU locked into the driver’s seat, with an early 3-0 lead in the first three innings.

Tinkham and sophomore catcher Gunnar Troutwine each added a run with sacrifice flies, scoring Mucha and Jenista both in the first inning. In the second, Jenista returned the favor with a fly-out to center field scoring Vickers.

In the fourth inning, Mucha grounded out, scoring Vickers, and with two runners on base, Troutwine brought in freshman Dayton Dugas for the fifth run of the game. WSU continued to hold a three-run into the top of the fifth inning.

But things took a quick switch as TCU pounded into the WSU bullpen, forcing six Shocker pitchers to 248 pitches.

Redshirt junior pitcher John Hayes recorded the loss, after redshirt sophomore Cody Tyler allowed four runs as the starter.

Cody Tyler gave up four runs on five hits and four walks. In the loss, he recorded five strikeouts.

Game 3

Junior Zach Lewis allowed eight runs in four innings in the series finale. The Shockers rotated four pitchers, allowing the Horned Frogs to score double-digits for the second straight day. TCU won 12-5.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Jones and freshman pitcher Clayton McGinness each allowed two runs in relief. Hayes kept TCU scoreless in the ninth, but by this time the game was out of reach.

TCU had multiple-run innings in the fifth and eighth innings to put surmount a margin the Shockers couldn’t match.

Dugas led an eighth inning rally with a solo homerun to right field, and Troutwine doubled, bringing home two batters in the ninth to bring the score, 12-4.

Dugas recorded two hits in three at-bats. Troutwine recorded three RBIs with a homerun and a double.

Freshman Alec Bohm added an RBI with a double on a line drive down the third base line.

TCU closed out the game striking out the final two WSU batters, and capturing the three-game sweep.

The Horned Frogs had seven extra-base hits, including five doubles.

WSU had three fielding errors.

In eight straight home games, Wichita State has recorded three wins. The Shockers stand at No. 7 in Missouri Valley conference rankings.

Wichita State hosts (16-10) Oral Roberts, victors of 10 of their last 12 games, in a single-game series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eck Stadium. They host Evansville on Friday to start conference-play.

— Contributing: Joshua Duncan of the Sunflower