No. 10 TCU turned three double plays in the final four innings and helped the Frogs take the 2-1 series victory with an 8-4 win over UNLV Sunday in Las Vegas, Nev. Senior second baseman Jerome Pena and senior first baseman Joe Weik led the Frogs offense with four hits each and Pena drove in three runs.
Senior starting pitcher Steven Maxwell (2-0) pitched five-plus innings on Sunday to earn the win. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, walked two and struck out two. Senior pitcher Trent Appleby held the Rebels in check for three innings. He allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out one. Junior Erik Miller pitched a scoreless ninth inning, giving up a lone hit.
TCU picked up where it left off on Saturday night, scoring three runs on four hits in the first inning. Junior right fielder Brance Rivera led off the game with his fifth home run of the season to start the offensive charge. Frogs’ junior short stop Taylor Featherston drove a one-out double to the gap in left center, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior left fielder Jason Coats.
Frogs’ sophomore third basemanJantzen Witte started a two-out rally with a bouncer over the third baseman’s head. He stole second and moved to third on the catcher’s errant throw. A bloop single from Pena gave TCU the 3-0 lead after a half inning of play.
The Rebels got a run back in the bottom of the frame. UNLV’s Hunter Beaty was hit by the pitch and moved to third on a base hit from Trevor Kirk. A wild pitch allowed Beaty to score to make it a 3-1 contest.
Coats tallied his second RBI of the game with a long home run on the first pitch of the third inning.
UNLV got the run back in the bottom of the inning as the first three batters reached. Cash Thomas led off the frame with a base hit and moved to second on a walk to Beaty. Kirk smacked a ball through the right side to plate the run. Maxwell got a big first out as he picked Beaty off of second base then retired the final two batters of the inning to preserve the 4-2 Horned Frog lead.
TCU and UNLV traded lead-off home runs in the fifth inning to make it a 5-3 contest. Pena collected his first of the season, driving the ball through the gusting wind to right center. Travis Feiner for UNLV got a ball up in the jet stream blowing out to left for his first of the season.
The Rebels crept even closer in the sixth inning, but the Frogs were able to minimize the damage as UNLV had the bases loaded with nobody out. With the bases loaded, a failed pick-off attempt allowed the Rebels fourth run to score. On in relief, Appleby got a big strikeout for the first out, but hit Richie Jimenez to reload the bases. TCU got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play off the bat of Feiner to keep it a 5-4 contest.
The Frogs got the run back to regain the two-run lead in the top of the seventh. Frogs’ sophomore designated hitter Josh Elander singled with one out and moved to third on a base hit by Weik. Rivera blooped a single into center field to drive in the run, putting the Frogs up 6-4.
Another two-out run pushed the cushion to three runs, 7-4. Witte started a two-out rally with a line drive to left. Pena hit an opposite field double that allowed Witte to score from first.
In the ninth, Weik’s solid afternoon continued as he delivered a one-out double. Schultz came through with a two-out hit that plated Weik to give the Frogs an 8-4 lead.
With the victory, the Horned Frogs improve to 12-7 on the season and 2-1 in league play. TCU returns home Tuesday night to start a season-long 13-game home stand. The Frogs will host Texas State at Lupton Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
- Brance Rivera pushed his hitting streak to 19 games with the lead-off home run. Twelve times this season, Rivera has extended his hitting streak in his first at-bat.
- Rivera has homered in three straight games. Twice this series he led off the game with a home run.
- Steven Maxwell tallied his first pick off of the season in the third.
- Aaron Schultz extends his hitting streak to five games.
- Trent Appleby tallied his second pick off of the season in the eighth inning. With Maxwell’s pick off, the Frogs now have 11 in the season.
- The 17 hits in the game is a season-high for the Frogs. The previous high was 16 set against Texas Tech on March 5.