No. 3 TCU clinches series against Kansas with walk-off 2-1 win in 10th
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A throwing error in the 10th inning guided No. 3 TCU to an exciting 2-1 extra-inning win over Kansas Saturday afternoon. The victory pushed TCU's winning streak to five and its Big 12 winning streak to eight.
The 10th inning provided lots of drama as both teams battled for the win. A lead-off error in the top of the frame followed by a walk had Kansas threatening to take the lead. Drew Gooch picked up a huge out as he got the lead-off hitter to bounce into a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning. Riley Ferrell (1-1) came on to face the Jayhawks leading hitter, Connor McKay, with runners on the corners. Ferrell snared the hot smash up the middle and flipped to first to end the inning, setting up the walk-off win.
A one-out walk to Dane Steinhagen followed by a Nolan Brown base hit put the winning run in scoring position. Elliott Barzilli battled to a 2-2 count before hitting a chopper to the third baseman. In an attempt to start a potential inning-ending double play, the throw to second sailed into right field, allowing Steinhagen to race home with the winning run.
Facing a stiff breeze, offense was hard to come by as both starting pitchers held the opponents in check. Tyler Alexander relied on his defense as they turned a pair of double plays to erase a lead-off walk in the first and a hit batter in the fourth. On the Kansas side, Drew Morovick wiggled off the hook in each of the first four innings, stranding four runners.
Kansas struck first, picking up a run on three hits in the fifth. Back-to-back singles to open the inning had the Jayhawks in business. The Frogs got a big out on a failed sacrifice attempt but a one-out walk loaded the bases. Justin Protacio grounded out to give Kansas the 1-0 lead.
TCU fought back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Crain led off with a base hit. A one-out walk to Cody Jones followed by a Derek Odell single loaded the bases. Connor Wanhanen hit a line drive right at the shortstop. Trying to double off Jones at second, the throw got away from the second baseman, allowing Crain to score the tying run.
Alexander settled down after the fifth inning and retired eight straight before yielding a lead-off single in the eighth. Trey Teakell came on and worked out of the jam. With one out, he intentionally walked McKay. The strategy paid dividends as he got Dakota Smith to ground into the inning-ending double play.
TCU threatened in the eighth after a lead-off error and a one-out hit but couldn't push across the go-ahead run setting up the thrilling 10th-inning finish.
Alexander tossed seven innings in the no-decision. He allowed a run on four hits, walked three and struck out two. Trey Teakell's only base runner came via an intentional walk in his two innings of work. Brian Howard, Gooch and Ferrell each got an out in the 10th.
With the victory, TCU improves to 39-9 overall and 15-5 in Big 12 play.