FORT WORTH, Texas — A light’s out combination of freshmen Andrew Mitchell and Stefan Crichton led No. 4 TCU to a 2-0 victory against Baylor Tuesday afternoon in Waco. Mitchell threw 6 2/3 innings for his first collegiate win and Crichton closed out the victory for his first career save. Taylor Featherston provided the offense for the Horned Frogs with two RBIs.
Mitchell (1-0) was outstanding in his first career start. He held the Bears in check for much of the contest, facing the minimum through six innings. Mitchell didn’t allow a run and surrendered just two hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Crichton pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out two.
“I’ve been in baseball for 21 years and that was as good of a performance and mound presence as I’ve ever been a part of,” raved head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
“It’s awesome,” said Mitchell. “The defense played great behind me and I just threw strikes. It’s good to get the first one out of the way.”
TCU had runners on in two of the first three innings but couldn’t get the big hit. A lead-off single in the first was erased by a double play ball and a lead-off error in the third was erased on a pick-off play.
The Frogs finally cashed in on a golden opportunity in the fourth inning. Jerome Pena opened the inning with a base knock to left field. Jason Coats worked a walk to put two on with nobody out. Joe Weik executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners 90 feet. Featherston battled to a 2-2 count before lining a single up the middle to plate the go-ahead runs and after four, the Frogs led 2-0.
Defense was the story of the afternoon for the Horned Frogs. Baylor had a runner on in the second and fourth innings, only to see him erased by a defensive play. In the second, Mitchell picked off Cal Towey to end the inning and in the fourth, he got Josh Ludy to ground into the inning-ending double play.
Twice the Bears lined into a double play to end a potential threat. In the sixth, the Bears had a runner reach on a one-out single, but Steve DalPorto lined out to Featherston, who threw behind the runner at first to end the frame. In the seventh, Brooks Pinckard doubled to open the inning, but was hung out to dry as he tried to steal third. Logan Vick hit the ball sharply to Weik at first, who corralled the ball and threw to Featherston to erase Pinckard.
The seventh proved to be adventuresome after the line out as Mitchell walked Ludy. The Frogs went to the bullpen and Crichton looked like he was out of the inning, but an error allowed Max Muncy to reach, putting the tying runs on base. He rebounded nicely from the error getting Joey Hainsfurther to pop out to short to end the inning. After the error, Crichton retired the remaining seven batters that came to the plate.
TCU improves to 3-1 on the season. The Frogs return home for a big weekend series against nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton beginning Friday night. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.
* The Frogs won for the first time in Waco since April 8, 2008 when they took a 4-3 decision over the Bears.
* Baylor has not scored on TCU in the last 18 innings pitched. The Frogs handed Baylor a 9-0 defeat in the NCAA Fort Worth Regional Championship on June 6.
* Jantzen Witte, Brance Rivera and Jimmie Pharr have all hit safely in each of the four games of this season.
* TCU has limited opponents to just seven runs this season.