Eleven members of the TCU Horned Frog Baseball team have been named All-Conference, as determined by the Big 12 head coaches. Additionally, head coach Kirk Saarloos was labeled Coach of the Year.
Saarloos led the Horned Frogs to a second consecutive Big 12 regular season title in his first year as head coach. Impressively, he is the first Big 12 coach to be so lauded in his first season. Comparative to other first year coaches, he is tied for the most wins in Division 1 baseball (35) and boasts second for winning percentage (.660). It is his first Coach of the Year accolade, though he was on staff when TCU last received the award, in 2015.
Tommy Sacco and Luke Savage earned first team accolades; Brayden Taylor, Marcelo Perez, and Riley Cornelio, second team. Luke Boyers, Kurtis Byrne, Elijah Nunez, River Ridings, and Garrett Wright were granted honorable mention. David Bishop was selected to the All-Freshman team.
Sacco has proved a man on fire at the plate, with a .359 batting average, 29 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. Additionally, he has stolen 17 bases and boasts a .971 fielding percentage. In conference, he hit .394, with 13 doubles, eight home runs, 10 stolen bases and 33 RBIs.
Savage is worthy of the term "relief pitcher," making 21 appearances through the course of the season. He posted a 1.82 ERA in 34 2/3 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts. He is 1-1 on the year with two saves. Savage was even more impressive in league play with a .78 ERA in 13 appearances.
Cornelio ties for leading the TCU bullpen with 13 starters. He went 4-4 for the year, with a 4.03 ERA. Through 67 innings, he fanned 72 opponents, limiting them to a .220 batting average. He started in seven games in league play, posting a 3.12 ERA in 40 1/3 innings pitched.
Perez has pitched in multiple roles, commencing the season out of the bullpen before being accepted into rotation, whereupon, starting in seven games, he led the team with a 6-2 record over 15 appearances. He boasts a 3.26 ERA, with 41 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings pitched. In league play, Perez went 4-1, with a 3.58 ERA.
For the second consecutive year, Taylor managed double figures in home runs, ranking second on the team with 10. He hits .308 on the season with 12 doubles and one triple. Regarding RBIs he stands third, with 43. In league play, Taylor hit .274, with four doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBIs.
Playing in and starting every game this season, Boyers went .271 on the year, with 11 doubles, two triples, and six home runs, along with 37 RBIs. In league play, Boyers proved even stronger, second on the squad with a .322 average.
Byrne was a valuable asset this season, hitting .288, with 14 doubles, one triple and four home runs. He boasts 38 RBIs. Playing in and starting all 24 league games, Byrne hit .253, with six doubles, one home run, and three RBIs to go along with 17 RBIs.
Equally impressive was Nunez, with a .296 batting average, comprising six doubles, four triples, and one home run this season. In league play, Nunez went .286, stealing 10 bases, with 12 RBIs.
Ridings leads the Big 12 with 10 saves this season, tying for 19th nationally. He has made 20 appearances on the year, fanning 19 batters in 20 1/3 innings pitched. Six of his 10 saves have come in league play, as have 12 of his appearances.
Wright has appeared in 16 games this season and notched three saves while fanning 21 in 15 innings of work. In league play, Wright boasts a 2.70 ERA over nine appearances.
A stellar freshman of indubitable promise, Bishop went .275, with seven doubles, two triples and six home runs. He sits second on the squad with 45 RBIs.
Next up: TCU will begin its Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title defense Wednesday afternoon against the tournament’s No. 8 Baylor. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. The contest will be televised on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
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