TCU Tallies Sixth Straight Win With 9-3 Victory

April 22, 2011

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FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs used a six-run sixth inning to propel them to a 9-3 victory over UNLV Friday night at Lupton Stadium. TCU stretched its season-long winning streak to six games.

Erik Miller (3-6) was solid in seven innings of work. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on six hits and fanned a career-high nine batters. Nick Frey and Teddy Nowell combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning and Kyle Starratt worked a scoreless ninth inning.

TCU jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, scoring a pair of runs on three hits. With two outs, Jerome Pena swiped second and scored easily on a double off the bat of Aaron Schultz. Brett Johnson traded places with Schultz with his first career double for a 2-0 lead.

UNLV cut the lead in half in the fourth as it scored an unearned run to make it a 2-1 contest. Scott Dysinger led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second on an errant pick-off throw. A ground out had Dysinger standing on third and Brandon Bayardi hit a sacrifice fly to plate the Rebels' first run of the game.

In the top of the sixth, the Rebels sent eight men to the plate and scored twice to take their first lead of the contest. Travis Feiner struck out but reached on a wild pitch to open the inning. With two on and one out, Travis Cook tied the game with a base hit through the right side. A hit batter loaded the bases and Ryan Scott gave UNLV a 3-2 lead with a base hit. Miller buckled down and struck out the next two batters to leave the bases loaded.

The Horned Frogs wasted no time regaining their advantage as they exploded for six runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame to open up an 8-3 advantage.

Taylor Featherston led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jason Coats legged out an infield single and Featherston raced home to tie the game at three. Josh Elander followed with a base hit and Pena moved the runners up 90 feet with a sac bunt. The Rebels elected to intentionally walk Schultz to load the bases, then turned to the bullpen.

Joe Weik battled the new pitcher through a six-pitch at bat before getting plunked on the shoulder to drive in the go-ahead run. Zac Jordan smoked a pinch-hit double to left field that drove in a pair of runs and Brance Rivera executed a perfect suicide squeeze that drove in two more.

TCU pushed across another run in the seventh inning to extend its lead to 9-3. Coats doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch. A passed ball allowed Coats to race home with the Frogs' ninth run of the game. TCU improves to 28-11 overall and 12-2 in league play. The Frogs will go for their second straight series sweep Saturday afternoon. Steven Maxwell will make his 10th start of the season. First pitch is slated for Noon.

Postgame Quotes:
TCU Coach Jim Schlossnagle
On Erik Miller in the sixth:
"I thought his stuff was good all night and he was going to go back out there in the seventh no matter how much we scored. He only had one ball hit hard during the inning, we judge Miller on if the hitters are getting on top of the ball and getting ground balls."

On Erik Miller:
"His performance was phenomenal, especially at a time when we needed it with a game tomorrow and five next week. With Matt Purke out it gives us such a great lift when you have Kyle Winkler, Steven Maxwell and Andrew Mitchell who have proven themselves in that role, and for Miller to add a fourth it makes our situation feel really good."

TCU Pitcher Erik Miller
On tonight's performance:
"Tonight was just another outing and you have to go out there and pitch like you have always pitched and it worked well tonight."

On the sixth inning:
"I was fine, I made two bad pitches to the first two batters and I was able to get out of the inning. That was good for me to get the confidence back."

TCU Left Fielder Jason Coats
On tonight's game:
"I felt we were swinging it good all day, we had a few balls that got caught up in the wind, but we were able to really get it going in the sixth."

On Brance Rivera's suicide squeeze:
"We practice the squeeze a lot and when it worked, everyone in the dugout was going crazy."

Game Notes:
Jason Coats stretched his hitting streak to 19 games, tying his career long.
• Coats drove in a run in the sixth inning to stretch his RBI streak to nine games.
Jantzen Witte saw his 15 game hitting streak come to an end.
Taylor Featherston has hit safely in 10 straight.
• TCU has won seven straight league games dating back to an April 8 loss to New Mexico.
• TCU improved to 13-2 in the month of April.
Zac Jordan's double in the sixth was his 16th career double. He has 42 total hits in his career. It was his second pinch-hit double of the season.
Brett Johnson's second inning double was the first of his career.



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