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No. 7 TCU loses to unranked Houston Baptist 7-4 Saturday

The No. 7 TCU baseball team exited the field of Lupton Stadium with bowed heads and slumped shoulders after losing to unranked Houston Baptist University, 7-4, on Saturday.

Junior short stop Taylor Featherston, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, said the game could have ended differently but the team didn’t execute plays that could have changed the game.

“It’s never good to lose, but they just played a better baseball game then we did,” Featherston said. “They did the things they had to when it counted.”

The win gave HBU(1-14) their first win of the season, and ended a 15-game losing streak that dates back to May.

The loss also snapped the Horned Frog’s five-game win streak and became the first collegiate loss for sophomore pitcher Matt Purke.

Purke, who is 2-1 this season and 18-1 overall, couldn’t take command of the game in the 3 2/3 innings he played. He retired four batters; however, he walked three and allowed three hits and four runs. Three of the runs were unearned.

The sole earned run during Purke’s time at the mound came in the top of the second inning when HBU’s Kolby Arnst scored off of a RBI single by third baseman Ryan Bacak.

TCU (9-5) tied the game up 1-1 in the bottom of the third when sophomore third baseman Jantzen Witte hit in sophomore Kyle Von Tungeln.

HBU exploded in the fourth inning. Although the Huskies appeared to have their tails between their legs with two outs, they scored three unearned runs after a fielding error occurred at short stop.

The 4-1 lead was soon cut to 4-2 in the bottom of the second. Senior catcher Jimmie Pharr advanced to second base from an error HBU committed in an attempt to convert a double play. He was later plated by freshman first baseman Brett Johnson– his first career RBI.

In the fifth inning, junior center fielder Brance Rivera narrowed the Huskies’ lead to one when he hit a long ball over the left field fence to bring the score to 4-3. The hit was Rivera’s second home run of the season. Rivera is currently on a 14-game hitting streak.

The top of the sixth inning appeared to be déjà vu. Just like the second inning, Arnst scored from a RBI netted by HBU’s Bacak.

In the bottom of the sixth, Johnson capitalized on a throwing error and scored to bring the game to 5-4.

The Frogs could not convert with one out and loaded bases in the bottom of the seventh inning. Both the Horned Frogs and the Huskies suffered scoring droughts in the seventh and eighth innings.

In the ninth inning, HBU had five hits and both second baseman Garrett Tully and left fielder David Pfuntner scored for HBU to extend their lead to 7-4. HBU’s Tyler McCarty closed out the game in the bottom of the ninth, and pitched his first save of the season.

Despite the loss, which tied the series at one a piece, Featherston said the team will be fine tomorrow.

“We”ve got a bunch of … guys that hate to lose man, so we’ll be out here tomorrow fired up,” Featherston said. We”ll be getting after it.”

The winner of the TCU-HBU series will be decided in Sunday’s match at Lupton field. Senior Steven Maxwell is slated to throw the first pitch at 1 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.

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