Rice Outduels TCU; Frogs Fall 1-0
March 1, 2014
HOUSTON - The No. 10 Rice Owls outdueled the 12th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs, taking a 1-0 victory Saturday night. Preston Morrison tossed his first complete game of the season and the third of his career in the loss.
Morrison (1-1) was touched for just one run on six hits in eight innings of work. He walked one and struck out five. Morrison faced the minimum in five of the eight innings and allowed two base runners in an inning just once. The defense turned a trio of double plays behind him.
A two-out walk to Cody Jones in the third inning turned into trouble for the Owls. Dylan Fitzgerald followed with a single to put a pair of runners on base. Boomer White lined a single through the left side and looked to have given TCU a 1-0 lead, but a strike from left fielder Michael Aquino to home plate got the Owls off the hook as Jones was tagged out before he crossed home.
The Owls first chance to crack the scoreboard came in the fourth inning after a one-out double by John Clay Reeves. Keaton Jones made a sparkling defensive play on a hot smash ticketed for left field to save a run for the second out. Morrison closed the inning with his fourth strikeout of the game to strand the go-ahead run at third base.
Rice finally broke through in the sixth inning as it took advantage of a lead-off single. The Frogs erased the lead runner for the first out of the frame, but a ground-rule double from Keenan Cook had two runners standing in scoring position. On the first pitch he saw, Reeves drove the ball into the outfield for a sacrifice fly and a 1-0 Rice lead.
TCU had a golden opportunity to knot the game at one in the top of the eighth after the first two batters of the inning reach. Keaton Jones singled and Kyle Bacak worked a four-pitch walk. Cody Jones put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Owl reliever Zech Lemond snared a bouncer up the middle and threw out Keaton Jones at the plate. A pop out to the catcher end the threat.
TCU falls to 6-4 on the season. The Horned Frogs will wrap up play in the Houston College Classic Sunday night against Houston. Tyler Alexander will make his third start at 5:05 p.m.