TCU Falters In Extra Innings, Fall To Utah 7-6
May 13, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas - After allowing two unearned runs in the top of the 11th, the TCU Horned Frogs had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the frame, but Utah was able to hold on for the 7-6 victory. The loss snaps TCU's 10-game league winning streak.
Back-to-back errors by the Frogs to open the 11th inning spelled doom as the Utes turned it into a pair of runs to take a 7-5 lead. Shaun Cooper was standing on second after a dropped fly ball in right to open the inning. An error on a sacrifice attempt allowed Cooper to score the go-ahead run. Trey Nielsen hit a sacrifice fly to plate Tyson Gonzalez with the eventual game-winning run.
TCU looked poised to get back in the game after Jason Coats singled with one out in the 11th. Josh Elander doubled home the run to make it 7-6, but Ute closer Tyler Wagner struck out the next two batters to end the game.
The Horned Frogs forced extra innings with a run in the eighth inning to tie the game at five. Jerome Pena led off the inning with a base hit up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice from Jimmie Pharr. After Brance Rivera was hit by the pitch, Wagner unleashed a wild pitch to move both runners up 90 feet. Jantzen Witte tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center.
In the early part of the game, the lead see-sawed back and forth with Utah eventually taking a 5-3 lead going to the bottom of the sixth.
The Frogs struck first with a two-out run in the bottom of the first. Witte doubled with one out and came around to score on a two-out bloop single off the bat of Joe Weik.
Austin Shackelford got Utah rolling in the top of the second with a lead-off double. He scored on a long home run to left center off the bat of Nielsen to make it a 2-1 contest.
A lead-off error by Utah cost it the lead as the Frogs turned it into a pair of unearned runs to take a 3-2 lead. Taylor Featherston reached on the miscue and moved to third on a bunt single off the bat of Pena. Pharr bounced a single through the infield to tie the game at two. Witte grounded out to third with one out to plate Pena with the go-ahead run.
The lead wouldn't last long as James Brooks hit a solo home run to lead off the third inning. With two on, a two-out single by Cody Guymon gave Utah a 4-3 advantage after three.
Guymon's single in the third was the last Utah hit in the game, but it took advantage of other opportunities to manufacture runs. A lead-off walk in the sixth turned into the fifth run of the game for Utah. Guymon reached on a catcher's interference which negated a caught stealing and instead put two on with nobody out. A sacrifice and a ground out drove in the run to make it 5-3.
A Pharr home run in the bottom of the sixth brought the Frogs closer, 5-4.
TCU threatened to tie the game and possibly regain the lead in the seventh as it loaded the bases with two outs. Coats doubled with one out and Weik was hit by the pitch with two outs. Zac Jordan battled to work a walk, loading the bases. Utah starter Rick Anton got a ground ball to get out of the jam without allowing a run to score.
Erik Miller was once again solid in the no-decision. He tied his career-high with eight innings pitched. The junior allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Before exiting the game, he had retired nine straight batters and 16 of the last 18 he faced.
Stefan Crichton (5-3) took the loss after giving up the two unearned runs on no hits. He struck out three.
The Horned Frogs fall to 34-15 on the season and 15-3 in league play. TCU and Utah will square off in game two of the series Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Andrew Mitchell will make the start for the Frogs and face Utah's Brock Duke.