GRANVILLE, W.Va.–The West Virginia Mountaineers lost its fourth straight game as they fell 6-2 to the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
With the win TCU (36-9, 12-5 Big 12) ensures the series win over West Virginia (24-21, 6-11 Big 12).
“We talk about it all the time, stopping the damage and having a routine to get back in,” coach Randy Mazey said. “It’s not as easy as it sounds. When the game gets to speeding up on you a little bit its hard to slow it down. We need to find a way to keep them from putting up crooked numbers on us. If we can limit damage and keep teams to scoring a run an inning, I think we’re good enough offensively to win games, but we’ve had one bad inning the whole game and it has cost us a lot.”
TCU starter Preston Morrison (10-1) dominated the Mountaineers from the start. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before yielding a one-out single in the fourth to Jackson Cramer.
Morrison pitched eight innings, surrendering two runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked two.
The Horned Frogs took an early 1-0 lead when it had bases loaded and Evan Skoug grounded into a double play. Cody Jones, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, scored on the play.
TCU took advantage of West Virginia’s mistakes in the third when the Horned Frogs sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Dane Steinhagen drilled a double to lead off the inning and scored on a one-out single from Skoug.
From there things fell apart for the Mountaineers. Elliott Barzilli singled and Nolan Brown walked to load the bases. Keaton Jones was hit by a pitch to drive in a run. A trio of passed balls allowed Barzilli, Brown and Jones to score.
West Virginia got on the board in the bottom of the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-1 with back-to-back hits. Senior shortstop Taylor Munden doubled to left field and scored when freshman second baseman Kyle Davis singled up the middle.
Sophomore right fielder Shaun Wood hit a solo blast in the bottom of the eighth to pull West Virginia to 6-2.
Junior left-hander Ross Vance (6-4) gave up six runs, four earned on six hits with two walks and five hit by pitches. He fanned eight.
For the fifth time this season West Virginia had more than 2,000 fans at Monongalia County Ballpark with an attendance of 2,107 on Saturday.
TCU scored a run in the first inning for the 21st time this season. The Horned Frogs improved to 32-0 when leading after six innings.
Morrison set a school record when he made his 55th career start in a TCU uniform.
The Mountaineers will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon when sophomore right-hander Chad Donato (6-4) takes the mound against TCU left-hander Alex Young (8-2).