Frogs Fall Short despite Witte's 3 RBIs.
After six straight innings of no offensive production, the Frogs heated up late, tying the game at 3 all in the eighth. Unfortunately for TCU, from that point forward the only K's for Erik Miller were in his first name and the day ended in an 8-4 loss.
With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Frogs had Jerome Pena on third with 1 out and looked to be a played ball away from stealing a game they looked out-manned in all afternoon. Then the wheels completely fell off as Pena was picked on the ole suicide squeeze play, and then Miller gave up five in the top of the ninth. Both TCU losses this season have at least partially been the result of overly aggressive base running and one would have to think the coaching staff is going to take a hard look at their tactics going forward in that situation.
However, all due credit needs to go to Fullerton pitcher Tyler Pill who absolutely killed the TCU batters all afternoon. In 6.1 innings of work, Pill gave up 2 hits, 5 strike outs and a wide array of infield ground balls and line outs, never giving the good guys much of a chance. He did have two earned runs, but they were the result of back to back walks in the eighth, at which point he was pulled and his relief man was responsible for the runs crossing the plate. I've always thought the whole "earned run" thing was one of the sillier stats in baseball. It feels a lot like Little League where everyone gets a chance to play - "It's ok, even though you gave up a grand slam, it's not REALLY your fault!" Baseball, I want to love you, but I'm still a skeptic.
For his part, Stephen Maxwell kept us in the game, going relatively toe to toe with Pill in his 7 innings of work, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. It's just a shame his run support was in such short supply. Our hitting line wasn't what we've become accustomed to - 7 hits, 4 runs and 9 men left on. Jantzen Witte, as mentioned above, batted in three on two hits, with Jerome Pena tallying the other run.
A very tough loss for TCU, but when you're playing the #13 team in the country and their pitcher seemingly can't be hit, sometimes that's just how baseball go.
The Frogs look to take the series this afternoon at 1, although according to Spitblood's own Stefan Stephenson, Matt Purke will be held out until the weekend series in Lubbock while still nursing a blister on his throwing hand. Typical midweek starter Andrew Mitchell will likely be on the mound.
In other news, in my very own version of "An Idiot Abroad," this was the first game I've attended in person at Lupton in multiple years and, despite being relegated to riff raff Hill, I'd have to say that a college baseball game is one of the more underrated sporting events there is to attend. Not because of the game itself, I'm talking about college girls and their moms, and specifically what they choose to don on an 80 degree afternoon. You won't see that much silicon at a Charlie Sheen orgy. I went with my brother in law who will be a freshman at TCU in the fall and all I can say is that September can't get here fast enough for him. I also found out that in 1937 TCU had a player named, I shit you not, BEAR WOLF!! You can have your Barkevious Mingo, Name of the Year, because Bear Wolf is the name of the century. When we eventually win the College World Series, here's to giving credit to Bear Wolf for getting this thing started back in the dark ages.