Sophomore third baseman Janzen Witte went 2-for-5 with a home run and an RBI and senior pitcher Steven Maxwell gave up only two runs in over six innings pitched, but it wasn’t enough for TCU to complete a series sweep of Kansas as the Horned Frogs lost to the Jayhawks 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium.
The loss was the first of the season for the Frogs and it dropped their record to 2-1 overall. For Kansas, the win was their first of the season and improved their record to 1-2.
The first seven innings was all about pitching for both sides. Maxwell, the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2010, made his first start of the year struck out five.
TCU got on the board first when Witte hit a massive home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the second inning to give the Horned Frogs the 1-0 advantage.
But Kansas responded in the top of third when Jayhawk Casey Lytle doubled, bringing home Jacob Brunansky to tie the game 1-1.
Two innings later, Kansas catcher Zac Elgie put the Jayhawks on top with a home run that snuck just inside the left field foul pole.
TCU wouldn’t respond until three innings later in the bottom of the eighth when they mounted a minor rally.
Witte singled off Kansas reliever Colton Murray to start the inning and was able to advance to second base when junior Brance Rivera reached first base on a hit by pitch. After sophomore outfielder Kyle Von Tungeln, struck out, senior second baseman Jerome Pena came to the plate with a chance to tie the game.
And he delivered.
Pena lined a single to the outfield to bring Witte home. Rivera was thrown out when Kansas shortstop Brandon Macias relayed the throw from the outfield to home plate. TCU would go into the top of the ninth inning tied 2-2 with the Jayhawks.
Neither Kansas or TCU could get on the board in the ninth inning– the game went to extra innings where the lack of runs continued until the top of the 14th inning.
TCU junior pitcher Erik Miller, who came out of the bullpen in the 10th inning, walked the first two batters in the top of the 14th then after Kansas’ Jake Marasco laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third, Elgie would deliver again for the Jayhawks, pulling a ball down the third base line and through the legs of Witte. The error cost TCU two runs and gave Kansas a 4-2 lead.
But TCU wouldn’t go down easy. Senior Joe Weik led off the bottom half of the inning with a home run. After a singles by junior shortstop Taylor Featherston and junior Aaron Schultz and a walk by Witte, Rivera found himself with bases loaded and a chance to win the game for the Frogs.
But it wouldn’t happen.
Rivera ran the count to 3-2 but struck out looking to end the game and give Kansas the victory.
Murray was credited with the win after pitching seven innings of relief while giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out six. KU’s Scott Heisenhusen pitched one inning in relief after Jayhawks’ starter Tanner Poppe was taken out after pitching six innings, giving up one run on three hits and five Ks.
The Frogs will be in action this Tuesday when they travel to Baylor. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Freshman Andrew Mitchell is slated to make his first collegiate start.
The reported attendance was 4,393, which helped set a single series attendance record for Lupton Stadium