Mountaineer Baseball Drops Middle Game To TCU
The West Virginia University baseball team could not overcome an early deficit in a 10-4 loss at TCU on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.
On a hot, sunny afternoon in front of 4,311 fans at Lupton Stadium, the Mountaineers (26-22, 8-12 Big 12) trailed 5-0 after three innings but rallied with a three-run top of the fourth to cut the deficit to two. However, the Horned Frogs (28-19, 9-10 Big 12) responded to score two in the bottom half of the inning. Both teams scored one in the sixth before TCU added two in the seventh.
WVU won last night’s series opener, 4-3, and West Virginia and TCU will play for the series win tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. The Mountaineers have won three of the last five games in the series against the Horned Frogs.
A game after his 23-game hit streak was snapped, junior second baseman Kyle Gray’s hot hitting returned with a team-high-tying two hits, an RBI and two runs scored, which included his 14th home run of the season in the sixth inning. Gray’s 14 homers are tied for sixth-most in a single season in program history and the most by a Mountaineer since Jedd Gyorko hit a school-record-tying 19 in 2010.
Junior catcher Ivan Gonzalez also homered on Saturday, his first of the year and sixth of his career. The three-run homer in the fourth inning gave him a career-high-tying three RBIs in the game.
Sophomore right-handed starter Kade Strowd suffered the loss. He allowed three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings, with a strikeout and a walk. Seven Mountaineer pitchers made an appearance on the mound and combined to strike out six batters while walking nine. TCU’s 10 runs came on 13 hits.
TCU took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI groundout, and extended it to 3-0 in the second on a two-out RBI single off of the WVU bullpen. The Horned Frogs made it 5-0 in the third, on an RBI groundout and a two-out run-scoring single.
The Mountaineers answered right back with three two-out runs in the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-3. Gray got things started with a walk with two outs, and freshman third baseman Tyler Doanes singled to put two on. Gonzalez then followed with his sixth career home run, to left field into the wind.
The Horned Frogs responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 7-3. The first run scored on a single, while the second came on a bases-loaded double play with no outs.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fifth, and West Virginia followed with a run in the sixth on Gray’s home run. That made it 7-4, but TCU added a run in the bottom half on an RBI single.
TCU made it 9-4 in the seventh on a leadoff home run by Conner Shepherd.
Junior right fielder Darius Hill, who had two hits to extend his career-long reached-base streak to 24 games, singled in the eighth, but the Mountaineers could not add a run. WVU was retired in order in the ninth.
Sunday’s series finale at Lupton Stadium commences at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.
NOTES: West Virginia falls to 26-22 on the season and 8-12 in Big 12 play … WVU has won three of the last five games against TCU and goes for its second consecutive series win over TCU tomorrow … The Mountaineers have won six of their last nine games … Kyle Gray hit his 14th home run of the season and 17th of his career in the sixth inning … Gray’s 14 homers are tied for sixth-most in a single season in program history, while it is the most by a Mountaineer since Jedd Gyorko’s team-record-tying 19 in 2010 … Ivan Gonzalez hit his sixth career home run and first of the season in the fourth inning … Gonzalez had a career-high-tying three RBIs … Darius Hill extended his career-long reached-base streak to 24 games, while Marques Inman’s was snapped at 22 games.