Freshman pitcher Alexander helps TCU nab 11th straight win

Posted Saturday, May. 03, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Kansas State at No. 21 TCU

(at Lupton Stadium)

Friday: TCU 5, Kansas State 0

Saturday: TCU 3, Kansas State 1

Sunday: TCU RHP Jordan Kipper (7-2) vs. KSU TBA, 1 p.m.

Records: Kansas State 23-24, 4-13; TCU 33-13, 12-5

TV: Fox College Sports; Radio: KTCU/88.7 FM

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

For the last month, TCU has been so hot that it has rarely trailed in a game, much less lost one. The Horned Frogs had only trailed four times since April 1 and still won three of those games.

So when Kansas State’s Ross Kivett sent the second pitch of the game over the left-field wall Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium, the jolt put TCU in unfamiliar territory.

Freshman left-hander Tyler Alexander maintained his poise, however, and held the Wildcats to just three more hits over seven innings as TCU won 3-1. It’s the Frogs 11th consecutive win and 18th in their last 19 games.

The former Southlake Carroll star not only stifled K-State, but he gave the Frogs’ bullpen another breather that allows Brandon Finnegan to rest instead of starting Sunday’s series finale.

Finnegan, the usual Friday starter, was pushed back to allow inflammation in his throwing shoulder to heal. Finnegan feels good, but Alexander’s deep outing, coupled with Preston Morrison’s complete game Friday, has allowed TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle to start Jordan Kipper (7-2) on Sunday with the added benefit of a rested bullpen.

“We have options,” Schlossnagle said.

That’s because Alexander (6-3) shook off the first-inning homer, which came on a changeup low in the zone. He finished with five strikeouts and no walks. K-State only had one other runner reach second base.

“It didn’t get in my head too much,” Alexander said. “I’ve definitely grown up a lot. The more I’ve thrown here has really aged me in a good way. The coaches are great with helping me with that and the older pitchers are good with that, too.”

No. 21 TCU (33-13, 12-5 Big 12) has held opponents to one run or less 25 times in 2014, including 12 times (with eight shutouts) since April 1.

TCU did all its scoring with two outs in the fourth. Boomer White led off with a single and Jerrick Suiter walked with two outs before Dylan Fitzgerald roped a single to right field, scoring White. Keaton Jones punched a 1-2 pitch down the line in right for a two-run triple and a 3-1 lead.

“I feel like the difference right now for our team is we don’t panic in those situations,” said Jones, who made several more hit-saving stops at shortstop. “Once we get a lead, our pitchers aren’t going to give up very many runs, knock on wood.”

Kivett, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, made several defensive gems in center field, taking away potential TCU hits. Starter Nate Griep (3-5) took the loss after allowing four hits and three walks for K-State (23-24, 4-13). Jake Fromson came on to face Jones, who pulled a pitch just foul down the third-base line before tripling to right.

After a lead-off hit in the eighth, Trey Teakell replaced Alexander and struck out two before Riley Ferrell came in to record the final four outs and earn his 12th save.

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

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
Toronto1Bottom 4th | Box
NY Yankees1@theBallpark | TV: SNET, YES
Washington0Top 5th | Box
Miami0@theBallpark | TV: MASN 2, FSN-FL
NY Mets2Bottom 3rd | Box
Atlanta0@theBallpark | TV: SNY, FSN-S
Boston1Top 3rd | Box
Baltimore0@theBallpark | TV: NESN, MASN
Milwaukee0Bottom 3rd | Box
Pittsburgh0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, ROOT-PIT
Chicago WSox4Top 3rd | Box
Tampa Bay0@theBallpark | TV: WGN, Sun Sports
Seattle0Bottom 1st | Box
Houston0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-HOU
Detroit0Bottom 1st | Box
Kansas City0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-KC, TBS
Cleveland0Bottom 1st | Box
Minnesota0@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Los Angeles 9/21 2:20 PM ET
Chicago Cubs @theBallpark | TV: SportsNet LA, CSN-CHI
Texas 9/21 3:35 PM ET
LA Angels TV: FSN-SW, FSN-W
Philadelphia 9/21 4:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: CSN-PHI, CSN-CA
Arizona 9/21 4:10 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-AZ, ROOT-RM
San Francisco 9/21 4:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD
Cincinnati 9/21 8:05 PM ET
St. Louis TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Tampa Bay14Final | Box
Atlanta «56Gridiron Replay
Sunday
San Diego102nd Qtr 1:51 | Box
Buffalo3@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Tennessee02nd Qtr 0:44 | Box
Cincinnati19@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Baltimore102nd Qtr 0:20 | Box
Cleveland7@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Green Bay72nd Qtr 2:00 | Box
Detroit12@theGridiron | TV: FOX
Indianapolis202nd Qtr 1:35 | Box
Jacksonville0@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Oakland32nd Qtr 0:08 | Box
New England7@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Minnesota62nd Qtr 0:54 | Box
New Orleans13@theGridiron | TV: FOX
Houston02nd Qtr 0:22 | Box
NY Giants14@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Washington172nd Qtr 2:00 | Box
Philadelphia14@theGridiron | TV: FOX
Dallas72nd Qtr 0:18 | Box
St. Louis21@theGridiron | TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Monday
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
Columbus22nd Prd | Box
Carolina1
Buffalo 9/21 5:00 PM ET
Washington TV: CSN-DC, NHL Network
St. Louis 9/21 6:30 PM ET
Columbus 
Calgary 9/21 8:00 PM ET
Edmonton 
Edmonton 9/21 8:00 PM ET
Calgary 
Full Scoreboard