Complete Effort Gives TCU 5-0 Win
Feb. 14, 2014
FORT WORTH - A career night for Brandon Finnegan and timely hitting from the offense helped the No. 19 TCU baseball team to a 5-0 win over Jacksonville in the season-opener. Three of the Horned Frogs five runs came with two outs.
"No question it's good to get a win," said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "Obviously the big two-out hits gave the team a lot of confidence. Even though we only scored five runs, I was really pleased with our at-bats for the most part. Cody Jones was a big story and Jerrick's (Suiter) big two-out hit was huge and Kevin's (Cron) hit broke the game open."
Finnegan (1-0) dominated the first time through the order, striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced, including seven in a row. He tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, three walks and striking out a career-high 13 batters.
"I thought Finnegan was outstanding," raved Schlossnagle. "He threw both his fastball and his breaking ball for strikes. He wasn't just using his fastball. He was very, very impressive. Couldn't have asked for a whole lot better first outing from him."
On the offensive side, the Frogs wasted no time jumping out to an early lead. Cody Jones set the tone for the game with a lead-off single in the bottom of first. After Jones swiped second, Kevin Cron was hit to put two runners on. Dolphins' starter Alex McRae balked to move both runners into scoring position and Jerrick Suiter made it count as he dumped a single into center field to give the Frogs a 2-0 lead.
TCU tacked on another two-out run in the second inning to open up a 3-0 lead. A lead-off single from Connor Castellano turned into TCU's third run. With two outs and Keaton Jones standing on second, Kyle Bacak lined a single back up the middle to drive in Jones with the third run of the game.
After retiring the first 11 batters of the game, Finnegan surrendered a two-out hit to Connor Marabell. A two-out walk followed, but Finnegan wiggled off the hook, getting Dylan Dillard to fly out to end the fourth.
Again, Finnegan faced a little bit of trouble in the fifth as the Dolphins had two on with only one out, but he retired the next two batters he faced to end the inning.
The Frogs struck for two more runs in the seventh to extend their lead to five. Cody Jones bunted his way on with his third hit of the night and swiped his second bag in the game. A base hit from Boomer White put runners on the corners with only one out. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position and Cron cleared the bases with a two-run double to left for a 5-0 lead.
Trey Teakell came on in relief of Finnegan in the eighth and tossed two scoreless innings. His outing got off to a rocky start as the first batter he faced reached on an error. The error didn't hurt the Frogs as Teakell got a pair of ground balls, including an inning-ending double play, to get out of the inning unscathed. He sat the side down in order in the ninth to lock up the win for the Frogs.
TCU moves to 1-0 on the young season. The Horned Frogs and the Dolphins will be back in action Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium. Preston Morrison will toe the rubber for the Horned Frogs at 2 p.m.