Morrison Dominates in Win Over K-State
May 2, 2014
By Jay Hinton
TCU Athletics Media Relations
FORT WORTH, Texas -- In his last six starts TCU's Preston Morrison has been like fine wine -- he's gotten better over time.
In Friday's 5-0 Big 12 Conference home victory over Kansas State, the crafty right-hander allowed just seven hits, fanned seven and walked just one in twirling his second straight complete-game shutout and third complete-game blanking in his last five starts.
"It's almost like you get bored with it, which we shouldn't, because a pitcher like Preston doesn't come around very often," TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Everybody who walks into this ballpark needs to be appreciative of the kind of career he's having."
Since allowing four runs to Texas Tech on March 22, the junior from Waxhaw, North Carolina, has been downright stingy. He has allowed just two runs in his last 48 innings of work and one run in his last 30. He's lowered his ERA from 2.32 to a paper-thin 1.27.
Additionally, he's struck out 36 and walked just six.
"He hadn't had any bad days since he's been in college and he had a bad day against Tech and the sign of a good pitcher is it's not what happens to you but how you respond to it," Schlossnagle said. "You can see how he responded to it. He went right back to who he is and mixing his pitches and throwing the ball down in the strike zone."
Against the Wildcats (23-23, 4-12), who entered the game as the top hitting team in the Big 12 (.292), Morrison (7-3) never allowed more than four hitters to come to the plate in any one inning in the entire contest and not one Wildcat runner reached third base.
"I was able to make pitches when I needed to and got ahead of guys when I needed to," Morrison said. "For the most part I felt pretty good and the defense was playing well behind me."
Although he allowed a hit in each of the first four innings, he fanned two to leave a runner on second in the first inning; induced a double-play ball and recorded a strikeout to retire the side in the order in the second; skated past a two-out double in the third; left a runner on second after a lead-off single in the fourth, and overcame a two-out error to exit the fifth unscathed.
He retired the side in order in the sixth before working out of his biggest jam in the seventh.
The Wildcats got the first two runners on before catcher Kyle Bacak gunned down Shane Conlon trying to steal third. Morrison then recorded a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch with a nasty change up and a fly out to end the threat.
"They had him on the ropes a little bit," Schlossnagle said. "Preston's always a ground ball away and he doesn't walk very many people and that was a big play in the game. That was certainly a huge, huge out."
"Whenever the defense takes away hits or take away base runners they're free outs and it makes your job easier as a pitcher," he said.
In the eighth and ninth, Morrison allowed two-out hits, but neither runner moved past first.
"The stuff he had was pretty special," Bacak said. "His fastball was really moving, his change-up was diving and he was throwing his breaking ball for strikes. He has been pretty good lately, but (today) was Preston Morrison at his best. It was really impressive."