Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Horned Frogs' pitching staff held the Wildcats to just three hits as the fourth-seeded TCU defeated No. 5 seed K-State, 16-3, in seven innings during the first round of the 2023 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Globe Life Field.
"Not the start that we wanted to have for the game or for the tournament," stated head coach Pete Hughes. "Credit to TCU to dictate the tempo."
"We're all in. We were all in today they just jumped out on us and we couldn't exercise our pitching plan. It will be every man available and we will do whatever it takes to win. Survive for the next day and game plan for the next day," said Hughes.
K-State drew 11 walks, TCU's largest allowed walk total this season, with four Wildcats drawing multiple. The Cats season total improved to 331 walks which ranks third all-time in the school's single-season records.
"I was proud of our guys. You can abandon your plate discipline in a throw away game like that when you're chasing 10 runs, but they stuck to who they were. There's some maturity there and we can build off that."
Boerema became just the fifth Wildcat in program history to record 91 strikeouts in a single season after striking out the final batter in the first, tying Derek Anderson in the single-season records. The Litchfield, Minn., product received just his second loss of the season to move to 7-2.
Blake Corsentino and Andrew Evans allowed just two hits over their 2 1/3 innings in relief.
Cash Rugely, Cole Johnson and Nick Goodwin each recorded a hit while Johnson, Roberto Pena and Raphael Pelletier each drove in an RBI.
HOW IT HAPPENED
TCU scored all 16 of its runs over the first four innings including a six-run fourth to seal the run-rule victory.
The Horned Frogs struck first in the bottom of the opening frame with Brayden Taylor's three-run homer. TCU reached base in four straight plate appearances before the Wildcats' recorded an out until Kurtis Byrne, who hit No. 7 in the lineup, launched a two-run blast into left center to expand the lead to five.
The Cats added traffic to the basepath for the first time since the first frame with three walks until Roberto Pena was hit by a pitch to bring in K-State's first run of the tournament to end the shutout in the fourth.
Raphael Pelletier put a 3-1 pitch into play to score Brady Day on the sacrifice fly to trim the Frogs' lead to eight, 10-2.
In the fifth, Johnson registered the Cats' first hit since the first inning with an RBI single up the middle past the diving efforts of the Frogs' second baseman.
Trailing 16-3, Goodwin doubled down the left field line to record his 23rd extra-base hit of the season until Dom Hughes drew the Cats K-State drew its 331st walk. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch but were left stranded when reliever Chase Hoover punched out the final two batters.
INSIDE THE BOX
- K-State scored three runs on three hits with three errors and 11 left on base
- The Cats drew 11 walks
- K-State drew double figure walks for the ninth time this season
- Goodwin, Rugely and Johnson each registered a hit
- Three Wildcats drove in an RBI
- Boerema (7-2) received the loss
- The Cats bullpen combined for two earned runs and two strikeouts
- K-State stole two bases to bring the season total to 111; ranks fifth in the single-season records
- TCU played 16 runs on 17 hits with one error and five left on base
- Traeger received his first victory of the season
- The Frogs' pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts
- K-State moves to 19-25 all-time in the Big 12 Championship tournament
- Cats will face the loser of No. 1 Texas and No. 8 Kansas
- Boerema ties fifth in the single-season records with 91 strikeouts
- TCU leads the all-time series, 29-13
- K-State is 1-3 against TCU during the conference tournament
- TCU leads the season-series 3-1
K-State (33-23) will face either No. 1 seed Texas or No. 8 seed Kansas Thursday in an elimination game at 9 a.m. The game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. Radio coverage can be heard on the K-State Sports Radio Network with live audio streaming at K-StateSports.com/Watch.