The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks bested No. 15 TCU by a score of 4-3 Wednesday evening at Lupton Stadum, dropping the Frogs to 0-7 in one-run games.
In a night in which both teams tallied 11 hits, errors and base running plagued the Frogs, who were unable to tie the game in the ninth with two outs and a runner on third base.
Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was aware of the team’s lack of execution.
“Right now, we’re just not a good fundamentals team,” Schlossnagle said. “But sometimes that’s baseball and the hits don’t drop.”
Junior starting pitcher Erik Miller (0-5) was marked with the loss and SFA’s Fabian Arcizo (1-0) received credit for the win.
Double plays ended the first inning for both teams. Miller, starting for the first time in 2011, worked around a hit and an error to get out of the inning unscathed. For their part, the Frogs struggled throughout the game, swinging into double plays four times.
The Lumberjacks (19-7) opened up the scoring in the second frame with three runs. SFA’s Riley Huble and Hunter Dozier were hit by pitches, and Miller walked Bryce Cummings to load the bases. SFA capitalized, scoring three runs in three at-bats off a Michael Haynes RBI single, a fielder’s choice and a Garrett Smith RBI single. The Lumberjacks added another run in the top of the third on a two-out error.
The Frogs (15-9) got two runs back in the bottom of the third.
Senior first baseman Joe Weik singled and sophomore catcher Josh Elander walked. Junior center fielder Aaron Schultz then singled to center field and Weik came around to score when the SFA outfielder bobbled the ball. A sacrifice fly by junior left fielder Jason Coats brought in a second run before the rally sputtered out.
The deficit would remain at two runs until the fifth inning.
Twice the Lumberjacks threatened to increase the margin, but solid defense on the part of the Frogs kept the game within reach. On a fielder’s choice with a Lumberjack charging home, Elander made the play at the plate to keep the inning scoreless. Junior right fielder Brance Rivera then ended the top of the inning by making a diving catch on a ball near the warning track.
The Frogs were able to pull within one run in their half of the inning on an RBI by senior second baseman Jerome Pena after junior shortstop Taylor Featherston was hit by a pitch and sophomore third baseman Jantzen Witte singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Pena’s RBI came on an SFA fielder’s choice.
The Frogs came close to scoring again in the sixth inning but came up short. A double play gave TCU two outs with no runners on base when Rivera and Schultz both singled.
Schultz’s hit gave him his eighth consecutive multi-hit game.
Featherston walked to load the bases, but a Coats line drive narrowly missed clearing SFA’s Bryson Myles’s glove in left, and SFA managed to get out of the jam.
Schultz led off the top of the ninth with a double off the wall.
He tagged to third base with two outs but SFA reliever Jason West struck out his second batter of the inning to notch his fourth save of the season. Schultz went 3-for-5, and Rivera went 2-for-4 to lead the Frogs.
-3,411 fans attended the 2 hour, 56 minute contest.
-Rivera’s performance allowed him to extend his hitting streak to 24 games.
-In eight of the game’s nine innings, TCU’s leadoff batter made it on base safely.
-SFA used seven pitchers in the contest.
-TCU hit into a season-high four double plays.
The Frogs resume Mountain West Conference play with a three-game weekend series against Air Force at Lupton Stadium. First pitch will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday.