Stephen F. Austin Hands TCU 4-3 Loss
March 30, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs fell behind 4-0 early in the game and tried to rally, but came up a run short in a 4-3 loss to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday night at Lupton Stadium. The Frogs had the tying run on base in each of the last five innings but couldn't push it across home plate.
Erik Miller (0-5) surrendered three runs on three hits in two innings pitched. He fanned one, walked two and hit two batters. Trent Appleby was tagged with an unearned run in 2 1/3 innings of work. He surrendered five hits and struck out one. Stefan Crichton allowed two hits and struck out three in 3 2/3 innings. Andrew Mitchell retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning with two strikeouts.
A lead-off walk in the second got the Jacks off and running. Riley Huble was hit by the pitch to put two on with nobody out. Miller picked off the runner at second, but hit another batter and issued his second walk of the frame to load the bases. Michael Haynes put the Jacks in front with a base hit to left. A ground out and an infield single made it a 3-0 contest.
Stephen F. Austin pushed across another run in the third as it took advantage of a lead-off base hit. With two outs, Appleby looked to be out of the jam with a ground ball, but an errant throw across the diamond allowed the run to score to make it a 4-0 game.
TCU finally got the bats going in the bottom of the third as it cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs. Joe Weik led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second on a walk to Josh Elander. Aaron Schultz singled up the middle and a misplay in center field allowed Weik to score the first run of the game for TCU. A walk to Taylor Featherston loaded the bases and Jason Coats crushed a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 4-2 game.
The TCU pitching staff pitched out of a pair of jams in the fourth and fifth innings to keep the deficit manageable. Appleby gave up two hits to open the fourth, but retired the next three batters to strand the runners. In the fifth, a pair of one-out singles ended Appleby's afternoon. Crichton came on in relief and retired the final two batters to keep it a 4-2 deficit.
Featherston was hit by the pitch to lead off the fifth and the Frogs turned it into their third run of the game. A one out base hit by Witte put runners on the corners and Pena hit into a fielder's choice to drive in the first.
The Frogs had chances to tie the game, but each time the Lumberjack defense came up with a big play. TCU's best opportunity came in the sixth as it loaded the bases with two outs. Coats smashed the ball to the outfield, but the left fielder tracked the ball down to end the frame.
TCU falls to 15-9 on the season. The Frogs will return to conference play Friday night when they host Air Force in a three-game series. First pitch for the series-opener is slated for 6:30 p.m.