LUBBOCK, Texas – TCU plated six runs in the first inning Friday night, propelling the 10th-ranked Horned Frogs to a series-opening 7-3 victory over No. 8 Texas Tech inside Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
Four of TCU's six runs in the first came with two outs as Gray Rodgers drilled a two-run triple down the right field line followed by a two-run homer off the scoreboard in right center by Phillip Sikes. It marked the most runs allowed by the Red Raiders (20-7; 3-4) in the opening frame since Oregon plated eight on Feb. 16, 2019, only the second game of Tech's season-opening series.
TCU (22-7; 7-0) extended its winning streak to 11 straight with the victory as the Horned Frogs have now won seven-consecutive games to start Big 12 Conference play. Tech will look to snap that streak when the two teams meet again at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The Red Raiders previously bounced back from a Friday night loss to Oklahoma State to open its league slate a few weeks ago to win that series. Tech also fell in its series opener against the Horned Frogs two years ago in the last meeting between the two schools as the Red Raiders rebounded to win the series over the next two days.
Tech struggled to overcome the early big inning as TCU starter Russell Smith retired 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced until a Jace Jung home run in the fourth. The solo blast was Jung's Big 12-leading 12th of the season and first of two RBI in the game as he drilled a run-scoring single in the fifth.
The Red Raiders put up two runs in the fourth as Cole Stillwell followed Jung's home run with a high fly ball into left field that dropped in for a double. He scored later in the frame following a pair of TCU infield errors.
Smith (6-1) recovered, though, to sit down the Red Raiders in order over both the sixth and seventh innings to earn the win. He allowed only five hits overall, while striking out 12 with no walks over seven complete innings.
Tech starter Micah Dallas (1-2) took the loss in his return to the Friday night role as he surrendered six runs off six hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Mason Montgomery relieved Dallas in the fifth, throwing the final five frames with only an unearned run and one hit with seven strikeouts.
The three-game set between the Red Raiders and Horned Frogs continues Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch. Left-hander Patrick Monteverde (5-1, 2.03 ERA) will be on the mound against Frog left-hander Austin Krob (4-0, 2.27 ERA). Coverage will be available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the Texas Tech Sports Network.
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