LOS ANGELES – No. 18 TCU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first and never looked back en route to an 8-4 victory over No. 2 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Gene Wood and Conner Shepherd each homered for the Horned Frogs.
Sam Thompson led off the game with a base hit. An error and a wild pitch had him standing on third with one out. Zach Humphreys put the Frogs on top with a base hit. After a walk to Gene Wood and another Bruin error, Gray Rodgers and Conner Shepherd hit back-to-back singles to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Frogs picked up another run in the second to increase the advantage to four. Thompson tripled with one out and scored on a Humphreys sacrifice fly.
UCLA crept back into the game with a trio of two out runs in the fourth to make it a one-run ballgame, 4-3. The big blow was a two out, two run triple from Garrett Mitchell.
TCU wasted little time widening the gap as it scored four times in the fifth before the first out was recorded. Humphreys walked to open the frame and scored on a two-run blast from Gene Wood. After a Rodgers base knock, Shepherd launched a two-run shot of his own for an 8-3 lead.
The Bruins picked up their final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Charles King induced a 6-4-3 double play on which a run scored.
King (2-1) earned the win after allowing four runs on 10 hits. He struck out four and walked one. Austin Krob picked up his first career save, pitching 3 1/3 shutout innings. He surrendered just two hits, walked one and struck out five. At one point, the lefty had retired seven straight batters to get the game into the ninth.
Stat of the Game:
5 – Austin Krob struck out five of the 13 batters he faced in picking up his first career save. The sophomore threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
With the win, TCU improves to 11-3 on the season. The Horned Frogs will wrap up play in the Southern California College Baseball Classic Sunday against Vanderbilt. Game time is set for Noon (CT) at Dedeaux Field on the USC campus. Russell Smith will get the start for the Frogs