The experiment of using senior reliever Shawn Ferguson as a starter Tuesday night went about as well as could be expected – it was the rest of the game that did not go according to plan. The Horned Frogs lost 10-5 to No. 21 Oklahoma (13-5) Tuesday despite a decent performance by Ferguson, who made his first TCU (8-7) start after spending last season in the bullpen. Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said what was at first a trial run may become a routine.
“I think its got a chance,” Schlossnagle said. “I felt like he still walked four, gave up a couple big hits … but it’s something we’ll certainly revisit.”
Ferguson, who allowed 5 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings pitched, was tagged with the loss and said he was not pleased with his performance.
“It was rough,” Ferguson said. “That’s a great ball club over there. They have got guys who can hit, real patient hitters. I made one bad pitch to Caufield … it just sucked all together. There was some things I wish I could take back, but you cant. That’s baseball.”
Although the outing was less than ideal, Ferguson said he refuses to lose faith in his skills.
“I’m still confident in my ability to go out there and throw strikes,” Ferguson said. “I had a rough one this time, but that happens. Have to some ways to get a few positives out of this.”
Ferguson’s first real trouble of the night came in the third inning, when he hit shortstop Freddy Rodriguez with a pitch and followed it with a walk of first baseman Kevin Smith. After a sacrifice bunt, the TCU senior threw the pitch he wishes he had back – a ball outfielder Chuckie Caufield scorched to deep left for a bases-clearing double. Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger added to the deficit with another double to bring home Caufield and stretch the margin to 3-0.
After the Frogs tied the score in the bottom of the third off a 3 RBI double from sophomore catcher Andrew Walker, Ferguson again found himself in hot water in the 5th. After surrendering a leadoff double to Caufield and walking second baseman Aaron Reza, Ferguson was pulled for junior lefty Omar Arif, who has pitched reliably so far this season. Arif was unable to escape the inning unscathed however; an error by sophomore third baseman Matt Carpenter brought the second of two runs aboard, and the inning ended 5-3.
The Sooners all but iced the game in the 6th when Rohlinger struck again, this time a booming two-run homer off of Arif. Schlossnagle said he blames himself more for the mistake than anyone.