TCU’s 10 Run Seventh Inning Buries WVU
The No. 19 West Virginia Mountaineers (27-16, 10-9) dropped the first game of the three-game series to the Texas Christian Horned Frogs (25-19, 7-9) XX-X Friday night inside Monongalia County Ballpark. Coming into the game, most suspected it to be a pitchers duel with projected top 10 draft picks Alek Manoah and Nick Lodolo. However, WVU jumped out early but the aggressive bats of the Horned Frogs got the better of the Mountaineers.
West Virginia starting pitcher Alek Manoah started his night with a wild pitch, then walked two. It appeared that designated hitter Alex Isola was going to get a two RBI double on a hard-hit ball down the left field line, but left fielder TJ Lake laid out for a spectacular catch to get out of the inning.
Mountaineers lead-off hitter Tyler Doanes started the bottom of the first inning with a deep line drive over TCU centerfielder Johnny Rizer’s head for a stand-up double. Brandon White followed it up with a bunt down the third base line and beat the throw to put runners on the corners. Then Darius Hill blasted a three-run homerun over the right field wall to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.
After the three-run first inning, TCU starting pitcher Nick Lodolo looked to be getting stronger as the game went on.
“He got a lot better after the first inning, he settled in, started locating his fastball, throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes.” Said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey.
TCU’s Conner Shepherd started the top of the fourth inning with a single. Adam Oviedo and Bobby Goodloe and advanced Shepherd to third on sacrifice ground balls, before Zach Humphrey’s caught the Mountaineers off guard with a bunt down the third base line to get the Horned Frogs on the board.
Johnny Rizer got TCU within a run with a solo homerun over left-centerfield.
In the top of the sixth inning with two outs and one on, there was a bit of controversy at the plate. On a 1-2 pitch Zach Humphry’s appeared to have swung and broke the plane of the plate as the ball hit his hand. However, Homeplate umpire Mike Morris awarded Humphrey’s first base and it came back to haunt the Mountaineers.
Mazey gave a quick explanation on the exchange he had with Morris after the play. “He said it hit him in the hand and he didn’t swing the bat.”
Manoah then walked Josh Watson to load the bases before Jake Guenther hit a hard ground ball in the gap that WVU shortstop Tevin Tucker backhanded but was unable to make the throw to second as TCU took scored two to take a 4-3 lead.
Rizer started the top of the seventh with his second solo homerun of the night and that ended Alek Manoah’s night and kicked off a 10-run inning, six of the runs came with two outs as TCU went on to win 14-5.
“He didn’t have the same fastball command he normally has, he didn’t have the same slider, left a couple change-ups up.” Stated Mazey. “That wasn’t a typical outing for him. But he’s the type of guy, he’ll learn from that. He’ll get better and he’ll be better next time out because of what happened. I’m not worried about Alek at all on how he’s going to respond to something like that.”
This is the first time the Mountaineers have lost game one of a series since March 29th against Oklahoma. WVU went on to win the next two games to win the series.
“Yeah, we hadn’t been in this situation recently. That was encouraging, the last three innings we had a pitcher go out there and strike several of them out, which nobody was able to do prior to that. The good thing is, we were down by nine runs here two minutes ago and tomorrow when the game starts its going to be tied. When we win a game like that, we always say the team that loses gets momentum going into tomorrow because they just tied the score. We just tied the score here as soon as that last out was made.”
The Mountaineers look to even the series Saturday at noon inside Monongalia County Ballpark.
|Team Batting Totals||37||5||12||5||4||0||2||3||11||0||0||0||8||1||0||27||8||1||—|