TCU baseball won the Friday night opener of its three game series with No. 22 Oklahoma State 2-0 behind another strong showing from sophomore pitcher Preston Morrison.
Morrison pitched eight 1/3 scoreless innings and improved to 6-1 for the season.
The right-hander escaped some trouble in the early innings, forcing a double play with one out to end the third after OSU had loaded the bases, and getting two batters to pop out with runners on the corners in the fourth.
“He wasn’t himself,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “But he’s always just a groundball away.”
“It was just [that] some of my balls were missing,” Morrison said. “And I don’t want to make too much of an adjustment and leave that ball over the middle of the plate."
Catcher Kyle Bacak said the team had “all the confidence in the world” in Morrison, despite his difficulties.
“We had to hit off him all fall,” Bacak said. “So we know how hard it is. Just knowing how hard he is to hit off of, and he always goes out and throws strikes.”
The Horned Frogs (15-19, 4-6 Big 12) gave their pitcher run support following each of those situations. Paul Hendrix had an RBI single in the bottom half of the third to give TCU a 1-0 lead. Kevin Cron then scored when OSU second baseman Donnie Walton dropped a pop-up by Keaton Jones in the fourth.
Those two runs would be the last in what became a pitchers’ duel in the later innings. OSU pitcher Jason Hursh found a rhythm after TCU scored its second run, at one point retiring eleven straight batters before being pulled in the eighth.
“Hursh is really good,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s obviously a big league pitcher at some point in his career if he stays healthy. Although it was going against us, as a guy who loves pitching, it’s fun to watch a guy like that really compete and get better as the game goes on.”
TCU will look to build on the momentum from this game when they play the Cowboys again Saturday at 4 p.m.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Bacak said of the win. “Anytime we go out on Friday night and win, especially with Preston out there…and then we have [Brandon] Finnegan and [Andrew] Mitchell coming in Saturday and Sunday. We got three Friday night guys ready to go.”