A seven run inning proved to be the catalyst for TCU as the No. 14 HornedFrogs rebounded from Friday night’s heartbreaker to overcome the Cougars 16-10. After Houston scored five runs in the fifth. Senior relieverTrent Appleby called the win “the type of game that can show you what this team is capable of when it doesn’t give up.” Appleby picked up the win in a five inning relief effort and Jordan Mannisto was tagged with his first loss of the season for Houston. The game was sloppily played, with five errors apiece for both sides. Junior right fielderBrance Rivera led the charge at the plate for TCU, going 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs.
TCU again scored in the first inning when seniorsecond baseman Jerome Pena walked with the bases loaded. Junior center fielder Aaron Schultz doubled and advanced to third on an infield out. Junior left fielder Jason Coats was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners and then sophomore third baseman Janzen Witte and Pena walked to bring Schultz in. However, the Frogs continued to struggle with leaving men on base and ended the inning with the bases loaded.
Houston leveled the score at one in the top of thesecond inningwhen M.P. Cokinos hit a solo home run, Matt Purke’s second earned run of the year. Purke walked two more batters in the inning but worked his way out of the jam by getting a strikeout for the third out with runners at first and third. In the bottom half of the inning Rivera scored one of his three runs after being hit by a pitch, stealing second, and then coming home on an error that allowed Schultz to geton base.
TCU committed two errors that led to three runs in the top of the fourth. The Cougars loaded the bases on the two errors and a hit, then Landon Appling was hit by a pitch and Caleb Ramsey walked to bring around two runs. Chase Jensen hit a sacrifice fly that put TCU down 4-2.
Then, in the fifth, the wheels came off for TCU. Houston batted around the order and scored five runs as Appleby came in to relieve Purke. With one out and the bases loaded, junior shortstop Taylor Featherston’s error scored a run, a fielder’s choice scored another, and a Jensen single plated two more runs. By the time Appleby retired the side, the Frogs were on the wrong end of a 9-2 score line. However, according to Appleby, the mood in the dugout was still light.
“It came down to pride for us,”Appleby said.”Being down 9-2, we weren’t going to just give up.”
Added Schlossnagle: “We couldn’t control what had happened in the past, but we could control how we played the rest of the game.”
The top of the fifth saw the Frogs get one back when Rivera sent a solo shot over the leftfield wall. The at-bat extended Rivera’s hitting streak to 22 games. Schultz and Featherston followed with singles but a potential rally was cut short whenCoats hit into a double play.
However, in the bottom of thesixth the Frogs’ bats came alive as the team ran off starting pitcher Jordan Lewis and his replacement, Mannisto. Witte doubled to start the inning and scored when Pena doubled as well.Senior first baseman JoeWeik hit the team’s third straight double and advanced to third on a Jimmie Pharr sacrifice fly. Zac Jordan hit the first home run of his career to bring up the top of the order. Rivera and Schultz both hit singles and after Featherston was hit by a pitch, Coats cleared the bases with a double that put TCU up 10-9. Coats said that though he had been hitting well all year, it was a welcome sight to see one of his hits fall into the right place for the Frogs. TCU added two more in theseventh and four in the eighth to finish off the Cougars.
The rubber match between the two teams is scheduled for tomorrow at 1 p.m. TCU will start senior pitcherSteven Maxwell.