The fourth-ranked TCU Horned Frogs saw their ninth-inning rally fall a run short as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Lobos Saturday in New Mexico.
The Frogs fall to 35-10 on the season and 15-4 in league play.
The Lobos hit a pair of home runs in the fourth and evened the series at a game apiece. Sophomore pitcher Kyle Winkler tossed his second career complete game and senior first basemen Matt Curry hit his 11th home run of the season.
Winkler (7-1) surrendered three runs on five hits in eight innings of work. Curry, who lost for just the second time in his career, walked two and struck out three.
The Frogs struggled to get base runners against the Lobos’ pitcher, Willy Kesler. The Horned Frogs didn’t advance a runner to second base until the seventh inning and only had one base runner in three of the first six innings.
Winkler did his best to match Kesler pitch-for-pitch but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. Ryan Honeycutt followed with a walk and scored on a home run off the bat of Chris Juarez to give the Lobos a 2-0 lead. Max Willett smacked a solo home run to left to put the Lobos up three.
Curry became the first Frog to reach second in the seventh when he drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a Kesler wild pitch. Kesler overcame left Curry there, striking out the side.
TCU attempted a ninth-inning rally as they had two runs in with only one out. Jason Coats battled and came through with a base hit to right. Curry worked Kesler to a 3-2 count and unloaded on an opposite field home run to make it a 3-2 contest. The come-from-behind was not to be as he retired the final two batters to secure the Lobo victory.
The Frogs and the Lobos will square off in the rubber match Sunday night. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.