No. 3 TCU Slips Past No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, 4-1

Erik Miller tallied his first save of the season.


Erik Miller tallied his first save of the season.

Feb. 25, 2011

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Timely plays and the right arm of Kyle Winkler guided the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs past No. 12 Cal State Fullerton Friday night. Winkler allowed an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings and Kyle Von Tungeln drove in a pair of runs to lead the TCU offense.

Winkler improved to 2-0 on the season with another dominating performance. He held the Titans to six singles, walked one and struck out two, while allowing an unearned in 7 1/3 innings of work. Erik Miller closed the door for his first save of the season, retiring all five batters he faced. He fanned three in 1 2/3 innings of work.

At the plate, Von Tungeln delivered two hits as did Jason Coats. Von Tungeln drove in two, while Jerome Pena and Taylor Featherston collected an RBI each.

The Horned Frogs looked like they were in business in the first inning after Brance Rivera led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a Jantzen Witte sacrifice bunt. Titan pitcher Noe Ramirez (1-1) worked out of the jam to keep it a 0-0 game.

Winkler was dealing as he retired eight of the first nine batters he faced. The lone batter to reach, Joe Terry, did so on an error in the second inning. Jimmie Pharr minimized the damage as he picked off Terry to end the second inning.

TCU finally broke through in the second inning, picking up a pair of runs on two hits and an error. Jason Coats drove the ball to the gap in left center for a lead-off double and cruised home on a triple by Pena to give the Frogs the 1-0 lead. Von Tungeln dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt and was safe on the errant throw by the pitcher, putting the Frogs up 2-0.

Ramirez and Winkler went toe-to-toe for the next three innings, before Fullerton finally broke through with an unearned run in the sixth to make it a 2-1 contest. Anthony Hutting reached on a one out error and moved to second on a base hit by Richy Pedroza. A perfectly placed bunt by Austin Kingsolver loaded the bases with only one out. Nick Ramirez cut the Frog lead in half with a sacrifice fly. Winkler was able to wiggle out of the jam, getting Carlos Lopez to fly out to end the inning with the Frogs still up 2-1.

TCU padded its lead in the seventh as the Frogs took advantage of a lead-off single by Von Tungeln. Witte executed a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners with one out and Featherston sacrificed home Von Tungeln with the Frogs' third run of the game.

The Titans attempted to mount a rally in the eighth inning with back-to-back base hits to open the inning. Kingsolver advanced the runners 90 feet with a sacrifice. Miller relieved Winkler and got Nick Ramirez to strike out on three pitches for the second out. He stranded the runners as he got Lopez to ground out to end the inning, preserving the 3-1 lead.

An unearned run in the eighth gave the Frogs a 4-1 advantage. Pena reached on a one-out error and moved to second on an Aaron Schultz base hit. Von Tungeln drove the ball to deep right, driving in Pena for the three-run lead. Miller set the side down in order in the ninth to lock up the victory for the Horned Frogs.

The Horned Frogs improve to 4-1 on the season. Steven Maxwell (0-0) will get the ball on Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.

Game Notes:
• Tonight's attendance of 5,566 was the second largest crowd in Lupton Stadium history.
Brance Rivera extended his hitting streak to five games, while Jerome Pena stretched his to four games.
Jantzen Witte has hit in six straight contests dating back to the 2010 campaign.
Kyle Winkler has yet to surrender an earned run in 2011. He has tossed 14 1/3 innings this season with two unearned runs against.
Aaron Schultz was hit by the pitch in the second inning. It was the fourth time this season he has been plunked, tying him with Taylor Featherston. On the season, the Frogs have been hit by the pitch 11 times.

TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
On Winkler throwing on Friday:
"The challenge for Winkler tonight was he had to do it a different way tonight, with only two strikeouts when facing eight or nine left handed hitters. I thought Winkler did a great job pitching to contact and we played great defense behind him. I thought one big difference in the game was Jimmie Pharr catching very well, picking off a guy at second base and not one ball got to the backstop. Winkler was a tick better than Ramirez tonight on the mound."

TCU Junior Pitcher Kyle Winkler
On throwing on Friday:
"It felt good out there tonight with the crowd giving me a lot of energy against a really good team that is really well coached. We had to play well tonight to beat them and that is what we did. I really had good fastball command, that is what set the tone for me, because I did not have the strikeouts like usual."

TCU Junior Pitcher Erik Miller
On his confidence level this season:

"My confidence is building day by day, you always have to go out there and have confidence even if you do not feel good."

 

 


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