No. 2 TCU opens season with 5-0 win over Southern Illinois

No. 2 TCU opens season with 5-0 win over Southern Illinois

In their season opener Friday night, the No. 2-ranked TCU baseball team shut out the Southern Illinois Salukis 5-0 at Lupton Stadium.

Senior pitcher Preston Morrison, who was the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year last season, only allowed three hits and zero runs in seven innings pitched.

TCU senior shortstop Keaton Jones had a career night, earning his 555th assist to end the bottom of the fourth. Jones is now TCU’s all-time leader in career assists.

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“It’s pretty cool, I didn’t even know I was that close,” Jones said.

TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said the accomplishment is “unbelievable” and that Jones has had an “amazing career.”

The score was still 0-0 until the bottom of the fifth when TCU left fielder Dane Steinhagen had an RBI single to drive in right fielder Nolan Brown. The Frogs never looked back.

Aaron Hauge, the Salukis’ starting pitcher, pitched only five innings and allowed three hits and a run.

In the bottom of the sixth, Southern Illinois relief pitcher, Chad Whitmer, balked, sending Keaton Jones home for another run, putting the Frogs up 2-0.

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TCU freshman outfielder Connor Wanhanen pinch hit for starting designated hitter Elliott Barzilli and drove in two more runs on a single, pushing the score to 4-0. He then got caught stealing second to end the sixth inning.

Wanhanen batted 2-for-3 in his career debut.

The last run of the game was scored in the bottom of the eighth thanks to second baseman Garrett Crain, who drove in third baseman Derek Odell to make it a 5-0 ballgame.

Mitchell Traver came in for Morrison in the top of the eighth and pitched the final two innings, allowing only two hits. Traver also pitched his first career strikeout for the first out of the ninth inning.

TCU continues its three-game home series with Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT.