In what proved to be a game of numbers, the No. 4 TCU baseball team dropped their second game in a three-game series against No. 12 Cal State-Fullerton. The Frogs ended the game 8-4 after a tumultuous ninth inning.
TCU finished with seven hits to Cal State’s 10, and one error to Cal State’s errorless game. The deciding factor was TCU’s four runs to Cal State’s eight.
When asked how the game worked out for the Frogs, Coach Jim Schlossnagle simply replied, “We lost, so it didn’t work out very well for us.”
Senior catcher Jimmie Pharr said the team has to improve on bringing runs in to win close games.
“We’re just not executing when we have runners in scoring position,” Pharr said.
Senior starting pitcher Steven Maxwell pitched for seven innings, giving up three runs until senior pitcher Trent Appleby came in for the eighth. Junior pitcher Erik Miller came in strong to close in the ninth, but the Frogs were derailed when Cal State’s Joe Terry was called safe at home in a close play at the plate.
“I don’t know how they called him safe he never got to the plate, I thought he was out,” Pharr said.
The controversial play brought out both dugouts as Terry came in high, hitting Pharr with his spikes and causing Pharr to react.
“I was a little upset with how high he came in with his spikes,” he said.
From there Miller pegged Fullerton’s Anthony Trajano, giving Cal State a walk to make the game 5-3. Nick Ramirez then doubled, bringing three Cal State runners in to make the game 8-3. In all, Miller allowed five runners to slip by. The pitching was then switched to junior Kyle Starratt, who closed out the game.
This marks the second game the Frogs have lost this season– the Frogs last fell to Kansas in extra innings Sunday.
The game was not without its high points for the Frogs though. After trailing 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, senior Joe Weik and Pharr cruised in on sophomore third baseman’s Jantzen Witte double to put the Frogs on the board, 3-2.
The Frogs then tied the game in the eighth inning as senior second baseman Jerome Pena’s double allowed junior outfielder Jason Coats to run home.
“We were much more competitive late in the game than we were earlier in the game,” Schlossnagle said.
Witte also said the game started out slow, and attributed the sluggish start to the new bats.
“We came out kind of slow, especially with the bats. We need to turn it on faster tomorrow,” Witte said.
Going into the ninth the Frogs were tied, but Cal State’s Joe Terry snuck around the bases making the game 4-3 and derailing the Frog’s offensive momentum.
The inning turned into an 8-3 Cal State lead after Nick Ramirez doubled, allowing three runners to score. Kyle Starratt was then brought in, Schultz caught a pop fly and Witte stopped Ramirez from stealing third to close out Cal State’s drive.
TCU tried to come back in the bottom of the ninth Brance Rivera and Witte both doubled on left field drives with only one out. Rivera scored but Witte was left stranded on third after junior shortstop Taylor Featherston and Coats both fielded out.
Regardless of the outcome, 4,606 people filled the stands of Lupton Stadium for the second game of the second series played in the season.
The Frogs will be back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. to close out the series at Lupton Stadium. Matt Purke (1-0) is slated to start for the Frogs.