Starter Stefan Crichton and TCU were sailing right along through four innings Wednesday night before the Horned Frogs’ lead vanished in a flurry of errors and line drives.Stephen F. Austin batted around and scored six times in the fifth inning to beat TCU 6-3 at Lupton Stadium.The Lumberjacks (16-16) collected six hits and took advantage of three TCU errors in the inning to overcome the Frogs’ 1-0 lead. It’s the Frogs’ third consecutive loss after TCU had seemingly found its footing during a 5-1 stretch. The Frogs (14-19, 3-6 Big 12) resume league play a three-game series against Oklahoma State (24-8, 4-4 in the Big 12) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Lupton Stadium.“More often than not lately, we don’t play the game of baseball very well and that’s what we’ve hung our hat on here for 10 years,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said.Crichton had been pitching well, striking out five in four innings. But the fifth started with a throwing error on a bunt single to third baseman Jantzen Witte, who threw wildly to first, putting SFA’s leadoff hitter at second base. Crichton hesitated after fielding the next batter’s sacrifice bunt, and SFA had runners on the corners with no outs.Michael Ruiz’s single to right got past Brett Johnson and two runners scored. Three more Lumberjacks had run-scoring hits before Trevor Seidenberger replaced Crichton on the mound. Seidenberger allowed a run-scoring single before ending the inning.“Jantzen is one of the best defensive third basemen in the country and he’s trying to make a play,” Schlossnagle said. “Brett is trying to make a catch. He saw Dylan Fitzgerald go out there the other day [and make a shoestring catch] and he tried to do the same thing. And before you know it, it is what it is.”TCU pulled to within 6-3 in the bottom of the inning on Paul Hendrix’s second home run of the season, a two-run shot to the opposite field in right.But the Frogs left eight men on base, including two when Kevin Cron struck out to end the first inning. Derek Odell’s run-scoring single gave TCU a 1-0 lead in the third, but SFA starter Cameron Gann (2-4) struck out Keaton Jones and forced a fly out to strand two runners.Gann allowed two earned runs in five innings for the win. SFA’s bullpen held TCU to three hits the last four innings. In the ninth, TCU had the tying run at the plate with two outs but Brett Higginbotham got Boomer White swinging on a high fastball to end the game.
Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs