The Wildcats scored four unanswered runs over the course of two innings to stay within striking distance of nationally ranked Texas Christian University. After scoring six runs in the first inning, the Horned Frogs gave up four runs to make it 6-4 after seven innings. It would be the closest ACU would get, as they left Fort Worth with the loss.
ACU moves to 9-11 on the season, while TCU, a team that has been to the College World Series the past two years, improves to 17-3 and 13-3 at the newly revamped Lupton Stadium.
Last season, the Wildcats lost both matchups against TCU. ACU barely fell to the Horned Frogs 4-3 in Abilene on April 6, 2015, after TCU scored twice in the seventh inning to grab the hard fought win. Later that year, the Wildcats fell 8-2 in Fort Worth. The Wildcats kept pace with TCU with the score at 5-2 before the Frogs scored three unanswered runs.
TCU scored six runs in the opening frame off of ACU starting pitcher Nate Cole. The Horned Frogs struck on a bases loaded single that drove in two, followed by a three-run home run to break things open early. Cole settled down after that and went 4.0 innings while giving up six runs on six hits with four strikeouts in the loss, which brings his record to 1-3 on the year.
The Wildcats got things rolling offensively in the sixth inning. Junior transfer Austin Call came in as a pinch-hitter with two outs and delivered with a solo home run to left field to make it 6-1 TCU. The Wildcats struck for three more runs in their next at bat on the strength of another long ball.
Senior catcher Alex Copeland got the top of the seventh inning started with a lead off double down the left field line past the Frog’s third baseman. Freshman first baseman David Ruot singled to put runners at the corners with no outs.
Kyle Carroll, normally ACU’s ace starting pitcher, played second base against TCU in this one. He came up and immediately drove in all three runs with a home run to left field to bring ACU within two runs, 6-4 TCU.
The Wildcats’ pitching staff did a nice job of keeping TCU off the boards after the six-run first inning. Cole held the Frogs to three hits though his next three innings and relievers Zach Kornely, Caleb Dougherty, Collin Dudley and Drew Hanson allowed just two hits and struck out five in a combined four innings in the pen.
ACU and TCU will meet again on April 19 in Abilene with a chance for the Wildcats to even the season series. ACU will now prepare for a three-game series on the road in Lake Charles, Louisiana against McNeese State starting on Thursday.