March 3, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - Oklahoma State had its ninth inning rally come up short Sunday at Lupton Stadium and dropped a 2-0 contest to No. 18 TCU.
The Cowboys loaded the bases with one out in their final at bat but couldn't push any runs across as they fell to 6-5 on the season. In evening the three-game series, TCU improved to 3-6.
Neither team managed much offensively, with OSU actually outhitting the Horned Frogs by a 6-5 margin but leaving seven runners stranded on the basepaths.
Kyle Ottoson suffered the loss on the mound, falling to 0-2 on the year. The senior southpaw worked 6.1 innings and allowed both TCU runs. He struck out four and allowed four hits and two walks.
TCU starter Stefan Crichton worked eight innings to earn his first win of the season, while Justin Scharf recorded the final two outs for his first save of the year.
In the ninth, TCU closer Kaleb Merck came out of the bullpen and retired the first batter he faced, Jared Womack, on a pop up. But back-to-back walks to Gabe Weidenaar and Zach Fish and a single by Mark Ginther loaded the bases for the Cowboys with just one out and ended Merck's day on the mound.
Up next, OSU pinch-hitter Victor Romero delivered a sharp ground ball that hit pinch-runner Gage Green as he ran to third base. Green was out, and with the dead ball situation, the Cowboy runner at third was unable to advance and score.
TCU took a lead in its first at bat. Kyle Von Tungeln led off the bottom of the first with a double off the glove of OSU first baseman Wes Jones, and after advancing to third on a fly out, he scored on a wild pitch to put the Frogs up 1-0.
The home team added to its lead in the third, and once again it was Von Tungeln sparking the offense. After a leadoff walk to Keaton Jones, Von Tungeln followed with a triple into the right-center field gap to make the score 2-0.
OSU's defense came up big to help the Cowboys escape further damage in the inning. Jones snagged a foul ball at the wall for the first out of the inning, and then Higgins nailed Von Tungeln trying to score on a fly ball out to center field with a perfect throw to the plate for an inning-ending double play.
Another stellar defensive play kept TCU off the scoreboard in the fifth when Fish made a leaping grab at the right field wall to rob Von Tungeln of a home run that would have given the Frogs a 3-0 advantage.
The Cowboys mounted a rally in the seventh but were unable to push any runs across. With one out, Fish delivered a single, and Ginther followed with a double into the gap to put runners on second and third. But Crichton got Jones and Higgins to ground out to end the threat.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.