Feb. 25, 2011
Fort Worth, Tex. - Right-hander Kyle Winkler, starting in place of Horned Frog ace Matt Purke, allowed just one run over 7.1 innings to lead TCU to a 4-1 non-conference baseball win over visiting Cal State Fullerton Friday night in a highly-charged, nationally-ranked series opener at Lupton Stadium in front of 5,566.
The Frogs are winners of 5 of the last 7 meetings with the Titans and improve to 4-1 overall on the young season. The Titans drop to 2-3.
Winkler (2-0) worked into the eighth and held the Titans to just one unearned run in the top of the sixth. The right hander picked up his second win in as many starts and has yet to give up an earned run in 2011. Reliever Erik Miller was dominant for 1.2 innings of relief and logged his first save of the year.
Titan starter Noe Ramirez (1-1) was touched for 2 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings of work and suffered his first loss of the year. Ramirez was not sharp early in the game, but settled to strike out 8 Frogs before giving way to Dylan Floro in the seventh.
TCU scored all the runs they needed in the second, scoring 2 times on 2 hits and an error by Ramirez in the inning. Jason Coats led off with a double to the left-centerfield gap and then scored on a Jerome Pena triple to right. An out later, Kyle Von Tunglen laid down a successful squeeze bunt and reached safely when Ramirez was forced to make a throw around him as he passed. The throw went wild, but did not figure in the rest of the inning.
The Titans cut the lead to 2-1 when Nick Ramirez drove home Anthony Hutting with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left. Hutting was aboard on an error by Pena to lead off the inning. After Hutting, Richy Pedroza singled to right and Austin Kingsolver laid down a drag bunt that stopped on the chalk for a hit to fill the bases for the clean-up hitter. Winkler got No. 5 hitter Carlos Lopez to lift a lazy flyball to left to end the rally.
The Frogs added the first of two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 3-1. Von Tunglen reached on an infield single and went to third on a hit-and-run knock by Jantzen Witte. Taylor Featherston dropped down another successful squeeze bunt for the Frogs and went to second as Floro forced a bad throw to the plate. Floro got out of the inning with a fine defensive effort, diving to catch a popped up bunt by Joe Weik, then doubling off Witte at third for the final out of the inning.
Miller thwarted the Titans best chance to get back in the game as he came out of the pen to strikeout Nick Ramirez and induce a grounder to short from Lopez with the tying runs at second and third in the top of the eighth.
Von Tunglen added an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth off Floro to cap the scoring for the home team. He and Jason Coats led the Frogs with two hits each.
Pedroza had three hits for the Titans and reached all four times in the loss.
The second game of the series will be played at Noon Pacific Time on Saturday. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Pill (0-0, 4.50 ERA) will be on the mound for Fullerton. TCU will counter with right-hander Steven Maxwell (1-0, 3.00 ERA).