No. 3 TCU scratches out 4-2 victory against Kansas in comeback fashion
FORT WORTH, Texas -- No. 3 TCU stretched its Big 12 win streak to seven games with a 4-2, come-from-behind victory against Kansas on Friday afternoon. The Horned Frogs scored three unearned runs in the fifth to erase an early 1-0 deficit.
Preston Morrison battled most of the afternoon but persevered to improve to 11-1 on the season. The senior, making his final home regular-season start, allowed an unearned run on eight hits and struck out five in 6.2 innings. Trey Teakell retired all four batters he faced after coming on in the seventh inning. Riley Ferrell pitched around a pair of base runners, surrendering an unearned run on one hit and a walk to earn his 12th save of the season.
Kansas put the pressure on early as it had base runners in each of the first four innings. After stranding a one-out double in the first, the Jayhawks threatened once again with a trio of one-out singles in the second. Elliott Barzilli made a solid play on a slow roller to cut down the go-ahead run at home for the second out and Morrison struck out Justin Protacio to end the inning.
After wiggling off the hook again in the third, Morrison couldn't escape a three-base error to open the fourth. A base hit from Matt McLaughlin put the Jayhawks in front 1-0. From there, Morrison settled in as he retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced before giving way to the bullpen with one on and two out in the seventh.
After being held in check through the first four innings, TCU finally took advantage of an error to score three unearned runs in the fifth. Keaton Jones was hit by a pitch to open the inning. An error followed by a walk had the bases loaded with nobody out. Cody Jones bounced into a double play, but the tying run was able to score on the play. Dane Steinhagen followed with a walk to put runners on the corners with two out. Steinhagen's steal of second was huge as Connor Wanhanen ripped a single up the middle to drive in two, giving the Frogs a 3-1 lead.
TCU added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Nolan Brown singled to left field. He stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. Keaton Jones singled up the middle to drive in the run for a 4-1 advantage.
Kansas didn't go quietly as the first two hitters of the ninth reached on a walk and a base hit. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position and had the tying run at the plate with nobody out. Owen Taylor grounded out to second to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Ferrell struck out the next batter and got a fly out to end the game.