Frogs take first game of series at Tech

No. 8 TCU handed Texas Tech a 7-0 defeat Friday night in the series opener at Dan Law Field. The Horned Frogs scored seven times on 14 hits and got solid pitching from the duo of Kyle Winkler and Teddy Nowell. Jason Coats led the offensive charge with four hits and three RBIs.

Winkler (3-0) turned in his third straight dominating performance, holding the Red Raiders to just four hits in eight innings of work. He fanned nine and didn’t walk a batter. Nowell pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts.

Lots of Frogs had outstanding offensive performances. Coats was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and fell a double shy of the cycle. Jimmie Pharr also notched four hits in the game and drove in two. Brance Rivera and Taylor Featherston each tallied a pair of hits.

The Horned Frogs got the scoring going early. Jason Coats opened the second inning with a base hit and stole second with one out in the frame. Jimmie Pharr put the Frogs up 1-0 with a double to deep right field.

Texas Tech threatened to get back into the contest in the bottom of the third as the first two batters singled to open the frame. Winkler made a fantastic defensive play on an attempted sacrifice bunt, throwing a strike to third to retire the lead runner for the first out of the inning. A ground out moved the runners up with two outs. Winkler got out of the jam as he froze Kelby Tomlinson at the plate for the final out of the frame.

TCU had a golden opportunity to take a commanding lead in the fourth. Featherston walked to lead off the inning and Coats followed with a base hit to right. The duo executed a double steal with nobody out, but Tech starter Daniel Coulombe wiggled out of the jam with two strikeouts and a ground out.

The floodgates finally opened for the Frogs in the sixth inning as they tallied three runs on five hits to open up a 4-0 lead. Featherston tripled to right center to open the inning and scored on an RBI-triple by Coats. A ground out from Jerome Pena made it a 3-0 contest. Pharr and Schultz hit back-to-back singles and Joe Weik reached on an error to load the bases. Brance Rivera legged out an infield single to drive in the third run of the inning.

Another three spot in the seventh gave the Horned Frogs a 7-0 advantage. Featherston reached for the third time on a hit by pitch and scored on a long home run off the bat of Coats. Pena lined a single up the middle and scored from first on a double off the bat of Pharr.

Following the third inning threat, Tech’s offense went dormant as Winkler found a groove. The Red Raiders had a pair of runners with two out in the fifth, but Winkler fanned Mason Randolph to get out of that mess. A lead-off single in the sixth was erased on a pick-off play and from there the Frogs mowed through the lineup. Winkler retired the final eight batters he faced, the last five via the strikeout. Combined with Nowell’s perfect ninth, the Frogs sat down the final 11 batters they faced.

TCU improves to 5-4 on the season. Steven Maxwell will take the mound on Saturday in game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. at Dan Law Field.