June 19, 2010


OMAHA, Neb. - TCU posted seven runs over the first four innings, including a five-run bottom of the first, and Matt Purke allowed one unearned run in seven innings on the mound, as the Horned Frogs collected an 8-1 victory over Florida State on Saturday in the opening game of the 2010 College World Series.

Florida State struck first in the contest, as Tyler Holt led off the game with a single to left and Sherman Johnson followed with an infield single to third base. On the play, TCU's Jantzen Witte threw wide of the bag at first, allowing Holt to score from second and Johnson to advance all the way to third and gave Florida State an early 1-0 lead. Johnson, however, was stranded on third as Purke struck out the next three batters swinging to end the threat.

TCU got off to a hot start at the plate, as Jerome Pena and Bryan Holaday produced back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the first, and both were driven in on a two-run double off the bat of Jason Coats that gave the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead.  The lead grew to 3-1 later in the inning, as after Coats advanced to third on a groundout by Matt Curry, Joe Weik delivered a RBI single to right to score the third run of the inning. Witte then gave TCU a pair of runners in scoring position with a double to right-center, and Weik scored on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Taylor Featherston to increase the lead to 4-1. The Horned Frogs were not done, as Aaron Schultz singled through the left side, scoring Witte to push the lead to 5-1 after one inning.

After the Seminoles were able to survive a first and second with one-out threat by the Horned Frogs in the bottom of the second, they found themselves in the same situation on offense in the top of the third, looking to cut into the TCU lead. But in a hit-and-run situation with an 0-1 count, Mike McGee skied an infield fly pop-up to Horned Frog second basemen Pena. On the play, with the runners on the move, Holt rounded the third base bag, but retreated to second base without retouching third, and was thrown out 4-1-5 to end the inning.

The Horned Frogs pushed a run across in the bottom of the third, as Witte and Featherson walked to lead off the inning, and Schultz advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle called for the squeeze and Brance Rivera laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Witte from third to increase the Horned Frog lead to 6-1. On the throw to first by pitcher Sean Gilmartin, Featherston attempted to score as well and was thrown out 1-3-2 at home to end the inning.

TCU continued its hot hitting in the bottom of the fourth, as Holaday hit a solo home run over the left field wall, his 14th of the season, increasing the advantage to 7-1. The lead grew to 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth, as Rivera singled to center to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Davy Wright, advanced to third on a groundout by Holaday and scored on a RBI single by Coats.    

The early runs for the Horned Frogs would be all of the run support Purke would need, as the freshman left-hander allowed just one unearned run on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven batters while recording his school record-tying 15th victory.  He allowed just two hits over his final six innings of work.  Holaday led the Horned Frogs at the plate with a 3-for-5 day, while Coats finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.

With the victory, TCU becomes the first team to win its first-ever game at the College World Series since Georgia Tech in 1994. The Horned Frog victory broke a streak of 10 straight losses in opening games by teams making their debut. They will face the winner of the Florida-UCLA game at 8 p.m. CST Monday.

Florida State, which is now 8-12 in opening-round games at the College World Series and has lost three straight and five of its last six, had four players tally one hit -- Holt, Johnson, McGee and Devon Travis. They will take on the loser of the Florida-UCLA game at 3:30 p.m. CST Monday.