Mistakes Prove Fatal In 8-7 Loss To No. 7 TCU
March 12, 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas - Freshman right fielder Jamodrick McGruder, who represented the tying run with two outs in the top of the ninth, was picked off third base by TCU catcher Byran Holaday and the seventh-ranked Horned Frogs escaped with an 8-7 win over Texas Tech on Friday night in front of 3,257 fans at Lupton Stadium.
The loss drops Texas Tech to 8-7 on the season and the Red Raiders have now faltered in two straight contests. TCU reaches the 10-win mark as they improve to 10-2.
Trailing by a single run in the top of the ninth, McGruder kept the Red Raiders alive as he drilled a triple off the wall in center field. The triple was his second of the game as he drove one to right in the seventh inning and ended up scoring a sacrifice fly by Joey Kenworthy that made it a one-run game at 8-7. This time, however, TCU catcher Bryan Holaday caught McGruder too far off the bag and the game ended with a pickoff at third base.
The Red Raiders found themselves in a five-run hole early in the game as TCU built a 6-1 lead after two bad innings by Tech starter Brett Bruening. Bruening walked three batters and hit two others in the first two frames while third baseman Nick Popescu gave up two runs on a costly fielding error that led to the Horned Frogs' early explosion. Popescu ended up committing two errors on the night and Bruening was pulled after the second.
Sophomore designated hitter Scott LeJeune got the Red Raiders back in it with a three-run home run in the top of the third. LeJeune's second home run of the season went soaring over the fence in center field and cut the TCU lead to 6-4. TCU, however, answered with a solo run of its own in the bottom of the third thanks to a leadoff hit batter to extend its lead to 7-4.
In the fourth, junior catcher Jeremy Mayo made it a one-run game with one swing of the bat as he blasted a two-run home run to center. The home run was his second of the year and made the score 7-6 in favor of the Frogs.
TCU scored what turned out to be the winning run in the eighth when Jason Coats reached on a leadoff fielding error by Popescu and then scored on a groundout by Matt Curry.
Trent Appleby earned the win in relief for TCU as he held Tech to two runs on three hits over four innings. Bruening (2-1) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs (three earned) on three hits, three walks and two hit batters. Kaleb Merck logged 1 1/3 shutout innings for his second save of the year.
Texas Tech will look to even this three-game series on Saturday afternoon when the two teams meet for game-two of this three-game series at Lupton Stadium. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.