The BYU Cougars made the game interesting in the ninth with three runs, but the TCU Horned Frogs held on for the 6-4 victory to win their ninth straight league game. Erik Miller turned in a solid performance with a career-high eight innings pitched.
Miller improved to 4-6 on the season after allowing four runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out three. Stefan Crichton tallied his fourth save of the season with an inning of work. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one.
TCU rode the strong arm of Miller through eight innings. He was never in much trouble and induced two double play balls off the bat of Andrew Law. The first came in the third, erasing a one-out single. In the eighth, Miller got Law to bounce into the inning-ending double play to negate a lead-off error. Outside of the second inning, Miller never faced more than four batters in a frame.
Josh Elander got things going for the Frogs in the second inning with a one-out single. He was safe at second on an errant throw on a ground ball hit by Zac Jordan. Jerome Pena lined out sharply to center and the relay throw back to the infield got away and both runners advanced 90 feet. BYU starter Chris Capper unleashed a wild pitch to plate Elander and Joe Weik collected an RBI single to give the Frogs a 2-0 lead.
TCU added to its lead in the third inning. Brance Rivera led off the frame with a doubled down the left field line. A passed ball moved Rivera to third with nobody out. Jantzen Witte hit a long sacrifice fly to center to drive in the run to make it 3-0.
Taylor Featherston ended a stretch of eight straight retired by Capper with a one-out single through the left side in the sixth. Jason Coats followed with a line drive home run to straight away center for a 5-0 lead. A walk to Elander followed as did a two-out walk to Pena to put two on. Weik came through with a base hit up the middle to make it a 6-0 contest.
The Cougars manufactured a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 6-1 contest. Stephen Wells led off the inning with a base hit and promptly stole second. A ground ball moved Wells to third with one out and Jaycob Brugman drove him in with a ground ball to second.
BYU tried to rally for the victory over the Frogs as it loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. Brugman reached on a bad-hop infield single to open the inning. A Ryan Bernal base hit and a walk to Alex Wolfe loaded the bases.
TCU went to the bullpen and called on Crichton. He surrendered a sacrifice fly to Wes Guenther to make it a 6-2 game. With two outs, Crichton walked Kelton Caldwell to load the bases again. Dane Nielsen made the game interesting with a two-run double to make it 6-4. Crichton was equal to the task though as he froze Wells at the plate to end the game.
TCU improves to 31-13 overall and 15-2 in league play. The Frogs will go for the sweep Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
• Erik Miller tossed a career-high eight innings in the win. He had made it through seven on two occasions.
• Jason Coats’ sixth home run of the season was his first since April 9 against New Mexico.
• Joe Weik extended his hitting streak to five games.
• TCU hit a sacrifice fly for the fourth straight game. The Frogs have collected seven sacrifice flies in the last four contests.
• Brance Rivera collected his 15th double of the season, tying Jantzen Witte for the team lead.
• Rivera stole his team-leading 10th base in the top of the ninth.
• Taylor Featherston’s seventh inning double gave him 10 for the season. He is the sixth Horned Frog to reach double digits in doubles.