What started as a neck-and-neck game turned into an ugly meltdown from the Texas Longhorns, as 4,212 fans saw three Longhorns get ejected and surrender six runs in one inning to the TCU Horned Frogs.
Texas pitcher Corey Knebel, assistant coach Skip Johnson and head coach Augie Garrido were all ejected from Lupton Stadium Friday after arguing with umpires over three different calls in late innings.
Johnson and Knebel will be suspended for tomorrow's game, Texas and TCU spokespersons said.
Those ejections fueled momentum for a six-run eighth inning for TCU, as the Frogs came away victorious, 9-3.
Before the fireworks began, Texas made it difficult for the Frogs in the beginning innings. After walking Erich Weiss and forcing Jeremy Montalbano into a fielder’s choice, TCU stater Brandon Finnegan gave up a double to Jacob Felts.
Brooks Marlow followed up with a single, scoring Montalbano, and advanced to second base after a Cody Jones throwing error. Ben Johnson struck out to end the inning, ending the second inning with a 1-0 Texas lead.
CJ Hinojosa, who had three hits off Finnegan on the night, doubled to right center in the fifth to set up another Longhorns run. Hinojosa advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a Mark Payton single, making the game 2-0 Texas.
After being limited to three hits in the first four innings, TCU finally found its bats in the fifth inning. Keaton Jones walked, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Texas centerfielder Taylor Stell lost track of a fly ball, allowing Jerrick Suiter to collect a double and allowing Jones to score.
Cody Jones would ground out, advancing Suiter to third, then Boomer White drove in his 24th RBI of the season with a single up the middle. TCU left the bottom of the fifth with a 2-2 tie.
TCU took the lead in the sixth, when Paul Hendrix doubled, then advanced to third on a passed ball. Kevin Cron smashed a deep fly ball to right, scoring Hendrix on a sacrifice fly to warning track and giving TCU the 3-2 lead.
It wouldn’t last long, as Texas strung together a set of on-base at-bats to force another tie. With Finnegan moving past 100 pitches, Andrew Mitchell came in to relieve. After
plunking Taylor Stell with a hit-by-pitch, he threw a wild pickoff throw to first, allowing Stell to move to third.
Mark Payton singled to center afterward and tied the game at 3 for the Longhorns.
Texas frustration begins meltdown
After seeing assistant coach Skip Johnson get tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the seventh inning, and head coach Augie Garrido get ejected for debating a call at first base early in the eighth inning, TCU blew the game open as the Longhorns blew up.
In the eighth inning, following a Paul Hendrix hit-by-pitch, a Kevin Cron single, a wild pitch and an intentional walk to Josh Gonzales, Keaton Jones walked to give TCU a go-ahead 4-3 lead.
Texas pitcher Corey Knebel, who issued the walk, stormed toward the home plate umpire, yelling and gesturing at him before getting ejected by the ump and pulled back by teammates. He would be the third Longhorn to be ejected from the game, joining Garrido and Johnson.
K. Jones said he did not know what Knebel said to the umpire to get ejected.
TCU’s offense used Texas’ frustration to build their lead. Kyle Bacak singled up center to score Cron and give TCU a 5-3 lead. Pinch hitter Dylan Fitzgerald also drew a walk, then Cody Jones executed a suicide squeeze, giving TCU a 7-3 advantage.
Boomer White followed with a liner to the outfield, giving him a 2-RBI single and giving the Frogs a 9-3 lead and win.
TCU improves to 28-25, 12-11 in the Big 12, on the year. Friday marked the first time since March 15, when TCU beat Kansas to start conference play, TCU had a winning record in conference play.
Starter Brandon Finnegan (0-7), who threw a career-high 12 strikeouts, got a no-decision after six innings of work, including seven hits allowed, two earned runs allowed and 103 pitches. He finishes the regular season with a 2.90 ERA.
TCU will finish the series with Texas and the regular season tomorrow in Lupton Stadium, with first pitch set for 3:30 p.m.
Schlossnagle said Trevor Seidenberger (2-2) will get the start for TCU, and infielder Derek Odell (shoulder injury) will likely be able to play.