For five innings, it almost looked like West Virginia would take the season series with No. 12 TCU — at least, until Brayden Taylor stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning.
Taylor knocked a two-run homer over the right field fence to put TCU ahead of the Mountaineers and complete a four-run comeback. That put the Horned Frogs in front of WVU 5-4, and they would hold on to that lead until the final out.
TCU was forced to claw its way back after the Mountaineers got off to a fast offensive start. Vince Ippoliti logged the first three runs of the game with a three-RBI double in the first inning, then Tevin Tucker put the WVU lead to four runs in the second when he scored on a fielder’s choice.
Ben Hampton gave his highest-volume start of the season so far for West Virginia, and the toll was apparent as his pitch count stacked up. TCU scored its first unearned run in the second on a sac fly, then Kurtis Byrne hit an RBI double in the third inning to cut the deficit to two runs.
The Horned Frogs made their last swing in the sixth inning, capped off by Taylor’s home run, to hand Hampton (4-2) the loss after logging seven hits across his six innings of work. Hampton also threw a season-high 118 pitches in the outing.
Cam Brown was TCU’s starter and allowed all three of WVU’s runs in the first inning, but left the game after putting just one batter out after hitting WVU’s Dayne Leonard in the head. Leonard was unharmed and continued playing in the contest.
Marcelo Perez (2-1) took the mound in Brown’s place and logged the win, working for 6.2 innings and allowing just one run on two hits.
Taylor logged a single along with his homer to complete a 2 for 4 day in the No. 2 spot, while Elijah Nunez grabbed finished 2 for 2 with an RBI.
The Mountaineers slide to 15-10 on the season and 1-1 in the Big 12 after dropping their first league game. TCU improves to 19-8 overall and 6-2 in the conference.
The rubber match is set for 1 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Brett Walker (3-0, 4.41 ERA) is set to take the mound for TCU, while WVU’s starter is yet to be announced.