ARLINGTON, Texas -- Third-ranked TCU scored the first four runs of the game, getting three RBI from Josh Watson, to build an early lead and post a 5-4 win over UTA in the middle game of the three-game midweek series in front of 1,187 on Tuesday night at Clay Gould Ballpark.
UTA (14-16) and TCU (23-5) met for the second of three midweek meetings, with TCU also owning a 7-2 win in UTA's home opener on Feb. 21. After the Mavs set a program record with 2,008 in attendance in the first of the series, the crowd of 1,187 ranks as the sixth-most in Clay Gould Ballpark history. The season series will conclude on May 16 at TCU.
The Horned Frogs took an early lead in the first inning after the Mavs loaded the bases with three straight walks to open the contest. TCU then added three runs in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead, taking advantage of a leadoff error.
The Mavs got a Will Olson homer – the first of his career – in the sixth inning to get on the board before TCU answered with a pair of doubles in the seventh inning for a 5-1 lead and the Mavs got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a Christian Hollie leadoff homer.
UTA rallied in the ninth inning, getting two runs and placing speedy freshman infielder Zac Cook on second and Easton Johnson on first with two outs for Omar Salinas. A ball in the dirt skidded away from the catcher during the Salinas at-bat, with Cook breaking for third. TCU freshman catcher Zach Humphreys scooped up the blocked ball and fired to third to nail the head-first sliding Cook, ending the game.
ON THE MOUND
UTA starter Jordon West (0-2) made his second start of the year. West faced three batters, allowing three walks, before Jake Wilcox came in with the bases juiced and no outs. Wilcox turned in his best outing of the year, working five innings, allowing four runs and three unearned runs, walking two and striking out five.
After throwing just 66 pitches last Friday in a start vs. Troy, UTA senior Kadon Simmons came on to work in relief for the second time in his career to start the sixth inning. Simmons, a native of Cut & Shoot, Texas, worked a perfect inning on 12 pitches. Adam Meyer replaced Simmons to open the seventh inning, allowing a run on two doubles. Austin Gardner pitched a perfect eighth inning and Daniel James worked in the ninth.
TCU starter Mitchell Traver (1-0) worked a pre-determined two-inning start, allowing two UTA hits without a walk, striking out four. Haylen Green took over to start the third inning and turned in 2.2 shutout innings without allowing a hit, walking one and fanning four. Trey Morris came on with two outs in the fifth, getting four outs and allowing a run. Sean Wymer started the seventh inning, working two frames, before Durbin Feltman worked the ninth for his eighth save of the year.
AT THE DISH
The Mavs were limited to eight hits in the game, but got solo homers from Olson and Hollie in the sixth and seventh inning. Zac Cook added a first-inning double and a ninth-inning single. Salinas, Quintin Rohrbaugh, Aaron Funk, Easton Johnson and Noah Vaughan also collecting knocks. Salinas, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, extended his hitting streak to seven games.
HOW THEY SCORED
TCU scored in the first inning, loading the bases with three consecutive walks to open the game. After a strikeout of Luken Baker, Watson hung a sacrifice fly to rightfield, allowing Austen Wade to score the first run of the game.
The Frogs added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning with Zach Humphreys reaching on an error to leadoff and Wade pounding a single to rightfield. Cam Warner followed with single up the middle, scoring Humphreys from second. After Wilcox got a pair of outs, Watson drove the first pitch of the at-bat into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Wade and Warner for a 4-0 TCU lead.
Olson led off the sixth inning with an opposite-field shot to leftfield, the first of his career.
TCU got the run back in the seventh inning as Warner doubled with one out and scored on Baker's RBI double into the left-centerfield gap.
Hollie greeted Wymer to the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a first-pitch, solo homer to leadoff the frame, his second of the year. It marked just the 11th hit Wymer has allowed in 2017 in 23.1 innings.
In the ninth inning, Colton Turner reached on a one-out error, scoring on Funk's triple to centerfield. Cook then scored Funk with a single to rightfield with on one out. After a Johnson single put the winning run on first base, Cook took second to put the tying run in scoring position. On a ball in the dirt to Salinas, Cook was nabbed trying to advance to third to end the game on a heads up play from TCU's freshman catcher Humphreys.
The Mavs will return to action on Friday, traveling to Appalachian State for the series opener of a three-game series in Boone, N.C.