TCU Clinches Series With 5-1 Victory
Feb. 15, 2014
FORT WORTH - The 19th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs scored five times in the middle frames and rode the runs to a 5-1 victory over Jacksonville on Saturday, clinching their first series win of the season. Preston Morrison tossed eight shutout innings in the win.
"Our starting pitching is without question, at least this time of the year, is our strength," said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "I've always felt like our game begins and ends with good starting pitching. I was really proud of our hitters for sticking with the game plan, especially on a typical Lupton Stadium, wind blowing in, day."
Morrison (1-0) turned in another dominating performance as he threw eight innings of four-hit baseball. He walked one and struck out four en route to his first win of the season. The junior retired 14 of the last 17 batters he faced before giving way to Brian Trieglaff in the ninth. The redshirt freshman, making his collegiate debut, was touched for a run on one hit and one walk.
"The thing with Preston (Morrison) is you've got to play defense behind him and I we did," said Schlossnagle. "I won't say that he was at his best, but he was certainly good enough."
Jacksonville had the game's first real scoring threat in the fourth as the first two batters of the frame reached via a walk and a base hit. A Drew Luther sacrifice advanced both runners into scoring position with only one out. Morrison buckled down and fanned the next two batters he faced to get out of the inning with the game still scoreless.
"(Getting out of that), that's the sign of a good team," said Schlossnagle. "Do something with defense to get momentum and turn it into offense the next inning."
The TCU offense took the momentum from the previous half inning and turned it into a pair of two-out runs. Jeremie Fagnan got things rolling with a two-out single. Jerrick Suiter followed with a double to left center giving the Frogs a 1-0 lead. Connor Castellano made it 2-0 with a single to shallow left center.
Keaton Jones opened up the fifth with a double to right and was standing on third with one out. Garrett Crain lined a single into left to extend the lead to three. With two outs, Boomer White doubled down the left field line to drive in Crain for a 4-0 lead.
Another lead-off batter reached for TCU in the sixth, translating to a fifth Frog run. Suiter was standing on second after a pair of errors. Castellano put runners on the corners with a bunt single and Keaton Jones laid down a perfect safety squeeze to drive in the run.
Jacksonville finally broke its scoreless drought in the ninth inning. Connor Marabell worked a lead-off walk and moved to second on a base hit from Seth Dewitt. With one out and runners on the corners, Dylan Dillard hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate the Dolphins lone run of the game.
TCU (2-0) will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1. Freshman Tyler Alexander will make his first collegiate start for the Horned Frogs.