TCU Suffers “Toughest Loss”, Lose To Houston 7-6


In the words of coach Jim Schlossnagle, “This has been the toughest loss in the history that I have been here at TCU. No question.”

After the TCU Horned Frogs led 6-0 with six outs to go, the Houston Cougars banged up on TCU relief pitching to pull off a last-minute 7-6 victory.

Until the last few outs, the Frogs held all control of the game. TCU got hot early, pummeling Cougars starter Mo Wiley with four runs and twelve hits.

In the first inning, Brance Rivera singled to extend his hit streak to 21 games and start a TCU rally. Aaron Schultz laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Rivera to 2nd and Taylor Featherston walked to put runners on first and second. The Frogs got on the board with a Jason Coats single to center that scored Rivera and gave TCU a 1-0 lead.

In the second, Josh Elander singled to start another early TCU rally. Following a Joe Weik flyout, Kyle Von Tungeln singled to right. Both runners pulled off a successful double steal on a Rivera strikeout and scored on an Schultz single to short, extending TCU’s lead to three. After stealing second, Schultz would reach the plate on a Feathertston single to right. By the end of the inning, the Horned Frogs led 4-0.

Wiley eventually found a rhythm in the third though, giving up only two hits over the course of the next three innings.

That would all change in the bottom of the sixth.

Weik started the inning with a double off left-field wall. Von Tungeln single puts men on first and third. After Von Tungeln was caught stealing second, Rivera hustled to get a doube on a high bloop fly. With runners on second and third, Schultz was hit by pitch to load the bags. A tailing single to left by Featherston brought in Weik and Rivera, giving TCU a 5-0 lead.

Houston would replace Wiley with Luke Moran, but Coats would still capitalize with runners in scoring position. Coats hit a deep fly to center, ultimately resulting in a 8-4-3 double play, but his out drove in Schultz to hand a 6-0 advantage over to the Horned Frogs.

In the top of the eighth, the Cougars finally clawed their way to a run. Following singles by Ryan Still and Landon Appling, Caleb Ramsey hit into a double play, putting Still on third. Still scored Houston’s first run of the game when Kyle Winkler would make a throwing error to first on a Chase Jensen infield grounder. A groundout to short would retire the Houston batters, but Houston was on the board, down 6-1.

The Frogs sent out their first reliever of the night, Teddy Nowell, expecting that he would come in and close out the game. Instead, the Cougars began a unexpected six run rally.

M.P. Cokinos would walk and move to second on a passed ball. John Cannon would draw a four pitch walk to place runners on first and second. Nowell would be replaced by Kyle Starratt, only to give up a single to Tyler Magliolo single that loaded the bases. David Murphy would fly out to right, but a Still single would score two and bring Houston up to a four run deficit.

Appling would make the game 6-3 following his RBI single. Starratt would be finished for the night as he left the bases full for TCU closer Erik Miller.

Miller wouldn’t put out the flames. Ramsey had an infield single to draw Houston’s fourth run and Jensen would ground out to bring the score within one. With two outs, a one run lead and two runners in scoring position, Matt Creel would give Houston their first lead of the night by slamming a go-ahead two-run double to center, giving Houston a 7-6 lead.

Dakota Dill came in to close for the Cougars and slammed the door on a possible comeback by the Frogs by striking out Jerome Pena and Jimmie Pharr. A groundout by Von Tungeln would cap off a meltdown by TCU as they fell, 7-6.

W: Luke Moran (2-0)
L: Erik Miller (0-4)
S: Dakota Dill (3)

Game Notes: Winkler went eight innings with 103 pitches, nine strikeouts and six hits allowed in a no-decision… Brance Rivera has hit safely in every game of the season… Taylor Featherston was removed by coach’s choice in the sixth inning… Attendance was 4,489…

Quotes from Brance Rivera, Kyle Winkler, Houston coach Todd Whitting and TCU coach  Jim Schlossnagle will be up later tonight on SportDFW.

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