AUSTIN, Texas -- The pitching duo of Brandon Finnegan and Riley Ferrell stole the show Thursday night as TCU won the series opener against No. 4 Texas 3-0. The Horned Frogs got all the offense it needed in the fifth inning.
Brandon Finnegan (7-2) was light’s out against the Longhorns as he tossed eight scoreless innings. The junior allowed just four hits and none after the third inning. He retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, including a streak of 12 consecutive from the third through the seventh inning. Finnegan finished the night with 11 strikeouts and just one walk.
Riley Ferrell came on in the ninth and slammed the door on TCU’s second-consecutive shutout. He fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save of the season.
Texas had its chances early in the game but couldn’t cash in. The Longhorns stranded two in the first and saw a golden opportunity in the second go by the wayside. C.J. Hinojosa lead off the second with a double. He was standing on third with one out after a sacrifice bunt. Finnegan got Kacy Clemens to strikeout for the second out and induced a fly ball to end the inning.
In the fourth, Texas saw another opportunity go by the wayside after a two-out bunt single from Mark Payton. He was standing on third after a stolen base and an error, but Finnegan responded with his fifth strikeout of the game.
The Frogs got all the offense it needed in the fifth inning. Jerrick Suiter led off the frame with a double. Dylan Fitzgerald was hit to put two on and both runners advanced 90 feet on a Keaton Jones sacrifice bunt. Garrett Crain put the Frogs on top with a base hit to right. An errant pick-off throw with two outs saw Fitzgerald score for a 2-0 lead. Cody Jones added an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
TCU had a chance for more in the seventh as it worked three free passes on two walks and a hit batter. A pair of Longhorn relievers worked out of the jam to keep it a 3-0 ballgame.
With the win, the Horned Frogs improve to 24-13 overall and 8-5 in Big 12 play. They move within one game of the Longhorns’ league-leading 9-4 record in conference play.