Mitchell's Career Night Leads TCU Past Air Force, 5-0
April 13, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - Behind a dominating pitching performance from Andrew Mitchell, the TCU Horned Frogs stretched their winning streak to four games with a 5-0 win over Air Force. Mitchell fanned a career-high 13 batters in seven innings as he helped TCU tally its third shutout of the season.
The victory improved Mitchell to 4-2 on the season. He allowed just three hits, walked a batter and struck out 13 in seven innings of work. Travis Evans finished off the shutout with two scoreless innings. He gave a hit, walked a batter and struck out two.
Air Force put together an early threat in the first inning. Blair Roberts singled to open the game and moved to second on a one-out base hit by Seth Kline. Mitchell worked out of the jam as Kyle Von Tungeln made a running catch and center and Kevin Cron fielded a grounder to end the inning.
Brance Rivera opened the Horned Frogs' first inning with a bloop single to left center. He moved to second with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Jerrick Suiter put the Frogs on top 1-0 with a two-out single down the left field line. Josh Elander worked a walk and Cron bounced a base hit up the middle to make it a 2-0 contest.
The Horned Frogs added another two-out run in the second inning to open up a 3-0 lead. Davy Wright walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a Keaton Jones sacrifice. With Wright standing on third, Von Tungeln looped a single into left field to drive in the third run of the game.
Two more runs crossed the plate for the Frogs in the third inning. Three straight doubles by the Frogs to open the inning turned into a 5-0 lead. Elander got the double parade started with an opposite field shot to lead off the third. Cron traded places with Elander at second as he went to left field for his first career double and second RBI of the game. Derek Odell drove the ball to right for a double, driving in Cron.
From the third inning on, pitching dominated the game as neither team could string together any kind of offense. Air Force's best chance to push across a run came in the fifth inning after a lead-off single by Michael Roberts. He stole second and was standing on third with one out. Mitchell fanned the next two batters he faced to leave Roberts stranded on third.
TCU's best chance to add to its lead came in the seventh inning after Rivera walked and Von Tungeln single to open the inning. A wild pitch with two outs had both runners in scoring position and a walk to Elander loaded the bases. Falcon reliever Mike Kazakoff pitched out of the jam with a grounder to short to end the inning.
Evans found himself in a bit of a jam in the eighth inning as he tried to preserve the shutout. With one out, he walked Garrett Custons and allowed a base hit to Kline. Evans got out of the jam with an infield fly and ended the inning with a fly ball to left to strand the runners. He fanned two in a perfect ninth inning to lock up the victory.
TCU improves to 18-13 overall and 7-3 in league play. Game two of the series is set for Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Preston Morrison will make his second career start and will be opposed by the Falcons' Ben Bertelson.
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