Ninth Inning Dramatics Lead To Win
April 14, 2013
FORT WORTH - Down to their final three outs of the game, TCU rallied to defeat No. 22 Oklahoma State with three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Brett Johnson's bases-loaded double gave the Horned Frogs a dramatic 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon.
Heading into the ninth inning, the Oklahoma State pitching duo of Tyler Nurdin and Brendan McCurry had retired 11 straight batters. Jantzen Witte broke the string with a lead-off single to right in the ninth. Kevin Cron hit a check-swing line drive that just cleared the shortstop's glove for a base hit. An error in the outfield put the tying runs in scoring position.
McCurry got an infield line drive for the first out of the inning then intentionally walked pinch hitter Dylan Fitzgerald to load the bases. Johnson was sent up in a pinch hitting role. He battled through a seven-pitch at bat before smoking a 3-2 offering to straight away center that fell in behind the outfielder. The tying runs scored easily and Fitzgerald slid in just ahead of the throw to the plate to give the Frogs a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
The Cowboys took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Saulyer Saxon was standing on second with two outs when Tanner Krietemeier bounced a single up the middle. He was safe at first, but the ball bounced far enough away that Saxon was able to score.
TCU responded in the bottom of the framw as Cody Jones singled to open the inning. With one out, Jones was standing on second when Paul Hendrix singled. Right fielder Zach Fish threw a strike to home plate and the catcher tagged out Jones as he slid by to keep the Cowboys in the lead.
Oklahoma State tacked on another unearned run in the second to open up a two-run lead. Robbie Rea was hit by an Andrew Mitchell offering to start the inning. A wild pitch and a ground out had him standing on third with only one out. He raced home on a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.
The TCU pitching staff bent but didn't break as the Cowboys had runners on in every inning. After taking the 2-0 lead, Oklahoma State stranded 12 runners. Twice the Cowboys had the bases loaded and couldn't push across any runs. Derek Odell made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for right field in the top of the ninth. The play saved a pair of runs, setting up the dramatic finish.
Mitchell started for the Horned Frogs and allowed two unearned runs in three innings of work. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out four. Trevor Seidenberger pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up two hits, walked three and fanned three.
Riley Ferrell came on with the bases loaded and two outs in sixth and got the final out of the frame. Travis Evans relieved Ferrell with one obn and one out in the seventh. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before giving way to Alex Young (4-3) who got the final four outs of the game. He walked one and struck out two.
TCU improves to 16-20 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play. The Frogs will hit the road briefly for a midweek contest at UT Arlington. Game time at Clay Gould Ballpark is set for 6:30 p.m.