TCU Rallies In Ninth To Win
March 2, 2018
FORT WORTH – Zach Humphreys worked an eight-pitch bases loaded walk to tie the game and A.J. Balta completed the come-from-behind win with a sacrifice fly to help No. 3 TCU rally for a 4-3 victory over UC Irvine on Friday night.
Connor Wanhanen’s second hit of the night with one out in the ninth got the rally started. Luken Baker followed with a double to put the tying run 90 feet away. An intentional walk to Josh Watson loaded the bases for Humphreys, who’s walk tied the game setting up Balta’s game-ending heroics.
TCU opened the scoring in the second. Watson led off the frame with an infield single. Two batters later the bases were loaded for Michael Landestoy. He drew a five-pitch walk to give the Frogs the 1-0 lead.
UC Irvine battled back to take the lead in the third. Two walks in the inning came back to haunt the Frogs as Brendan Brooks’ two-out single tied the game at one and a two-out error gave the Anteaters the lead.
The Anteaters returned the favor in the fifth as a two-out error allowed the Frogs to score the tying run. Wanhanen scored from second on an error on a ball hit by Humphreys to make it a 2-2 game.
In the seventh, a lead-off single followed by a defensive miscue had runners at the corners with nobody out for the Anteaters. A base hit from Ryan Fitzpatrick gave UC Irvine the 3-2 lead. Cal Coughlin limited the damage to the one run with three straight outs.
Coughlin pitched a perfect eight, while Jake Eissler (1-0) came on in the ninth and retired all three batters he faced to pick up the win.
Stat of the Game
2 – For the second time this season, TCU rallied from an eighth inning deficit to post a victory. The Frogs scored two runs in the ninth for the walk-off victory. It’s the first time since the 2016 season that TCU has tallied two wins in a season when trailing after eight innings.
• TCU has scored multiple runs in an inning 14 times this season.
• TCU outhit its opponent for the fifth time this season.
• The TCU bullpen has pitched 19 1/3 scoreless innings spanning the last five games.
• TCU’s last walk-off win was a 4-3 10th inning victory over Texas on May 7, 2017.
• Jared Janczak recorded his 200th career strikeout in the third inning.
• Luken Baker has reached base safely in 36 straight games dating back to last season.
• Connor Wanhanen has reached base safely in 14 straight games dating back to 2017.
• Wanhanen tallied his third multi-hit game of the season and the 36th of his career.
• Josh Watson has reached base safely in 12 straight games.
• Watson has hit safely in all eight games this season.
• A.J. Balta has reached base safely in seven straight.
• Balta collected his third multi-hit game of the season and the 30th of his career.
With the victory, TCU improves to 6-2. Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Nick Lodolo (2-0) will get the start for the Horned Frogs.
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