Schlossnagle ejected after close calls help Oklahoma State beat TCU 4-1

Posted Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Oklahoma State at TCU (at Lupton Stadium) Game 1: TCU 2, OSU 0 Game 2: OSU 4, TCU 1 Game 3: 1 p.m. Sunday, TCU RHP Andrew Mitchell (0-1) vs. LHP Tyler Nurdin (0-1) TV: FSSW Plus; Radio: KTCU/88.7 FM

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A season’s worth of frustration, including three close calls in Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State, came seething out of TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle in the seventh inning.

By then, the Cowboys had built a 4-1 lead and held on to take Game 2 to even the series in front of 3,945 at Lupton Stadium. Game 3 is at 1 p.m. Sunday.

OSU (24-9, 5-5 Big 12) scored three times in the sixth inning to claim a 3-1 lead after a walk and an error at third gave the Cowboys two on with one out. Justin Scharf replaced starter Brandon Finnegan and struck out Robbie Rea for the second out, but Tanner Krietemeier doubled down the third base line to tie it at 1-1.

It was the first of three plays Schlossnagle questioned. Krietemeier’s double landed in foul territory just beyond third base but was fair when it sailed over the bag, according to home plate umpire Ray Leible. Television replays were inconclusive.

Two more runs scored when shortstop Keaton Jones’ throw to first on Randy McCurry’s infield single hit the lip of the infield grass in front of first baseman Derek Odell, who was unable to pick the low bounce out of the dirt.

In the bottom of the sixth, Schlossnagle argued with first base umpire David Wiley after leadoff hitter Jantzen Witte was called out on a bang-bang throw from the second baseman. To the naked eye, Witte looked safe, at least to the Horned Frog fans sitting down the first base line. But again, replays, including an excellent angle from the outfield, were inconclusive as to whether Witte’s foot beat the throw to the glove.

In the next inning, OSU took a 4-1 lead on a sacrifice fly to Boomer White in left field. Trey Whaley, who was at third with one out after leading off the inning with a double, scored on the flyout, but before he touched home, Schlossnagle left the dugout, pointing to third base and arguing that Whaley left early when White stumbled to the ground seconds before catching the fly ball. After an animated disagreement with Leible, Schlossnagle was ejected.

“An inch one way or the other — whether balls are fair or foul, who knows?” Schlossnagle said. “That’s part of the game. I thought the guy left early at third base on the dive. But I’m not the one who ultimately makes the call.”

The last time Schlossnagle was ejected was against Dallas Baptist in June 2011 during the Fort Worth Regional — another particularly agonizing moment for Frogs baseball when the team’s three weekend starters were all battling injuries.

“Nothing went our way today really,” said Finnegan (0-5), who was tagged with another tough-luck loss after allowing three hits and two unearned runs with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. “We just have to come out [Sunday] and win a series.”

OSU starter Mark Robinette held TCU (15-20, 4-7) to one run on four hits in five innings before Vince Wheeland pitched masterfully the final four innings, holding the Frogs to one hit and striking out six. Wheeland retired 12 of the 14 batters he faced to earn his first save.

“[Robinette] battled for five hard innings there and [OSU pitching coach] Rob [Walton] made a great decision,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “He felt like he had run his limit there. Vince has kind of been our stopper all year. So when you have your stopper ready and the game is in the balance, we made the decision in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull [Robinette] and we responded with three runs [in the sixth]. So the timing was in our favor to make the change. It was a good win for us after losing a tough one Friday night.”

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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