In season opener No. 3 TCU rallies in the ninth inning to top Grand Canyon, 3-2

Jared Janczak recorded 11 strikeouts on Opening Day. Photo courtesy of

By Robbie Vaglio

Lupton Magic made an appearance in Phoenix Friday night. The No. 3 Horned Frogs scored three runs in the ninth inning to rally from a 2-0 deficit over Grand Canyon University.

Left fielder Josh Watson’s two-run triple in the ninth was the difference maker in the ball game.

The inning all started with first-year student and second baseman Coby Boulware rocking a line drive base hit up the middle. Designated hitter Connor Wanhanan stayed alive at the plate and worked a nine-pitch walk to put the tying runs on base. Watson’s hit came with one out, and sophomore catcher Zach Humphreys gave the Horned Frogs the lead with a sacrifice fly.

The Horned Frogs had multiple opportunities to crack the scoreboard before the ninth inning. Humphreys was left on third base after a base hit in the fifth inning and an interference call in the seventh inning led to a double-play.

Grand Canyon struck first in the bottom of the first inning as a ground-out scored a runner from third. The Antelopes extended their lead with a tw0-out, bases-loaded wild pitch.

Pitching kept the Horned Frogs within striking distance all night. TCU starting pitcher Jared Janczak recorded 11 strikeouts in his second career opening day start. He allowed one earned run on four hits in six-and-two-thirds innings. In relief, Cal Coughlin and Durbin Feltman proved to be the difference makers. Coughlin picked up the win with one-and-a-third innings of scoreless relief, and Feltman shut it down in the ninth, retiring the side in order to earn the save.

TCU’s first win of the season continues a trend established in last season’s NCAA Tournament: strong pitching. The Horned Frogs have only allowed a maximum of three runs in its past 10 games.

Game two of the opening series is set for Saturday with first pitch at 2 p.m. Sophomore left-hander Nick Lodolo will get the start on the mound.