Frogs fall to Ole Miss 7-4 in opener

With the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, No. 10 TCU was unable to come up with a win against No. 22 Ole Miss Friday night. The Horned Frogs lost 7-4 against the Rebels.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was pleased with the way the team competed against Ole Miss.

“I told them we don’t accept losing but at the same time the purpose of the game is to learn, win them but also learn what you did wrong, so we want to try and get better at those things tomorrow,” he said.

Sophomore Andrew Mitchell said he felt fine on the mound but the Rebels were tough at the plate and put the ball in play.

“Everybody always wants to start off on the right foot and win the first game,” Mitchell said. “Things happen. You can’t win them all and we’ll just have to go win tomorrow. “

In the top of the third, sophomore Preston Overbey started off the Rebels by singling up the middle. Senior Blake Newalu followed by singling between third and short. Bases were loaded for the Rebels after freshman Will Jamison bunted. Junior Tanner Mathis reached first base on a fielder's choice, advancing Newalu and Jamison. Junior Kyle Von Tungeln threw out Overbey at home from centerfield but Newalu scored when freshman outfielder Auston Bousfield grounded out for the second out of the inning. 

The Horned Frogs answered in the bottom of the third. Redshirt junior Davy Wright walked and freshman Keaton Jones was hit by a pitch to put two on. Senior outfielder Brance Rivera advanced the runners with a hard bunt down the third baseline. Von Tungeln singled right up the middle and Wright came home to tie the game. Jones came home to put the Frogs up 2-1 after senior Jason Coats popped out.

Schlossnagle said he felt good about the way the younger guys played. Freshmen Kevin Cron, Keaton Jones, Michael Resnick and redshirt freshman Trey Teakell all made their college debuts.

“Jones I know he got two hits but played good defense, he presented control and had really good presence,” Schlossnagle said. “That was a really good sign for our team.”

Action for the Rebels continued into the fourth inning as sophomore Will Allen singled to right field. Then, junior Andrew Mistone was hit by a pitch. Overbey reached first base on a fielder’s choice then Allen scored on a fielding error to tie the game.

In the fifth, Jamison started with a singled to right field for the Rebels. Mathis advanced Jamison to second. Then, Mitchell pitched inside and junior Alex Yarbrough knocked a two-run homerun to right field, putting the Rebels on top 4-2.

“It was supposed to be outside, off the plate,” Mitchell said. “I knew immediately he was going to hit that hard and when he swung I knew it was gone.”

Sophomore Nick Frey took the mound in the top of the seventh. Ole Miss added two more runs to make it 6-2 before the Horned Frogs answered back.

Wrights started a rally for TCU at the bottom of the seventh with a double to right center. Jones doubled to right field and Wright scored, making it 6-3. After battling at the plate, Coats singled up the middle for Jones to score, cutting the lead 6-4.

The Rebels scored once again at the top of the eighth when Mistone hit a solo homerun down the left field line, making it 7-4.

There was still hope for the Horned Frogs in the bottom of the ninth. Rivera walked and Von Tungeln was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Coats stepped up to the plate. Full count, he swung and missed to end the game.

“It’s disappointing I struck out but it’s not the end of the world,” Coats said. “We still got a whole season in front of us.”

The Horned Frogs return to the field at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lupton Stadium. Sophomore Stefan Crichton will be on the mound for TCU against Ole Miss senior R.J. Hively.