FORT WORTH, Texas - No. 16 TCU had an answer for the Red Raiders offensively all afternoon long and the result was a 12-5 setback to the Horned Frogs on Wednesday afternoon in front of 2,052 fans at Lupton Stadium.
The loss drops Tech to 16-23 on the season and the Red Raiders end a six-game road swing with a 2-4 record. TCU improves to 23-10 on the year and earns their first win over a Big 12 foe this season.
Junior center fielder Taylor Ashby gave the Red Raiders an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the second inning. Ashby drew a leadoff walk from TCU starter Kyle Winkler and moved to second on a groundout by freshman catcher Kevin Whitehead. The ninth stolen base of the year for Ashby got him to third base and freshman second baseman Garrett Totten delivered the clutch RBI single through the right side to bring him home.
TCU tied things up in its half of the second thanks to a one-out double from Jason Coats and a sacrifice fly from Matt Curry. A passed ball by Whitehead proved costly for the Red Raiders as Coats eventually scored from third on the sacrifice fly by Curry. Tech starter Nate Karns sat down Curry on the sacrifice fly (that scored Coats) and Brance Rivera on a strikeout to end the inning.
The Frogs took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded single by Curry and an RBI fielder's choice by Rivera. Two of the TCU's runs in the inning were unearned as third baseman Jeremy Mayo (who was making his first start at the position) fumbled a leadoff grounder by Chris Ellington.
Ashby cut the TCU lead in half in the top of the sixth with a bloop RBI single to shallow left-center field. The RBI single drove in Joey Kenworthy who led off the inning with a hard hit single to center.
TCU broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth with four runs off Tech reliever Robbie Kilcrease. Kilcrease was tagged for five hits in the inning which helped the Frogs grab an 8-2 lead.
The Red Raiders broke out for three runs in the top of the seventh to help cut into the six-run Frog lead. Freshman designated hitter Scott LeJeune got things started for Tech with a two RBI, bases loaded single and Ashby rounded out the scoring with an RBI single. The three-run outburst made the score 8-5 in favor of TCU.
Nate Karns (2-4) was charged with the loss for Tech as he gave up four runs but only three of those were earned due to a pair of errors. In 4 2/3 innings, Karns scattered five hits and five walks while striking out three. TCU's Kyle Winkler improved to 3-0 on the season after holding the Red Raiders to just two runs on three hits over five innings of work.
Texas Tech returns to action on Friday night when the Red Raiders open a three-game series against No. 24 Kansas. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.