HOUSTON — Nick Lodolo produced 13 strikeouts to lead the TCU Horned Frogs past the Houston Cougars 10-6 Friday night in game one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
Lodolo (1-2) retired the first 14 batters he faced in his seven innings of work, of which he never saw more than four batters per inning. The one mistake he had was a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. All in all, Lodolo had three baserunners on two hits and a walk. Lodolo now has 23 strikeouts over the last 14 innings pitched.
It helped that the Frogs (6-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Josh Watson and Jake Guenther bot singled ahead of a long homer from Alex Isola.
In the fourth inning, Andrew Keefer nailed a three-run home run to give TCU a 6-0 lead.
The Cougars put up a crooked number in the seventh off of the lone home run Lodolo surrendered. Austin Henry later tripled and scored on a Guenther base hit. With the bases loaded, Keefer hit a line drive single to left field for his fourth RBI of the game. A Conner Shepherd sacrifice fly ball was the final run of the frame.
Houston slowly clawed back. First, they picked up two runs in the eighth inning to produce a 9-3 score. However, Johnny Rizer hit a sacrifice fly ball to bring home Henry and give TCU a 10-3 advantage.
The Cougars managed to add three more runs with two outs that even saw the tying run come to the plate. However, Rizer closed out the night with a leaping catch at the wall in left center to seal the victory and preserve Charles King’s first save of the season.
TCU will stay in Houston to continue the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic on Saturday night with a showdown with No. 23 Texas A&M. Brandon Williamson will take the mound for TCU.