Morrison huge as TCU throws record 14th shutout

Posted Saturday, May. 17, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

No. 19 TCU at Baylor

(at Baylor Ballpark, Waco)

Thursday: Baylor 6, TCU 3

Friday: TCU 5, Baylor 0

Saturday: TCU LHP Tyler Alexander (7-3) vs. RHP Nick Lewis (0-0), 6:35 p.m.

Records: TCU 37-15, 16-7 Big 12; Baylor 24-28, 8-14

TV: FSSW Plus;

Radio: KTCU/88.7 FM

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

TCU’s postseason fate is starting to take shape, but one big piece still remains in play.

The Horned Frogs, who evened their series against Baylor with a 5-0 win on Friday at Baylor Ballpark, are still hoping to lock down a hosting bid for the NCAA Regionals.

A win in the regular-season finale against Baylor (24-28, 8-14 Big 12) at 6:35 p.m. Saturday likely would earn the Frogs (37-15, 16-7) the honor. TCU hasn’t lost a three-game weekend series since losing two of three at Oklahoma State the last weekend in March — that’s six consecutive series wins.

TCU pitcher Preston Morrison (8-3) was magnificent in a three-hit, eight-inning scoreless outing as the Frogs set a Big 12 record with their 14th shutout of the season, breaking Texas’ 2011 league record. Morrison lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.18 while striking out six and walking one.

TCU has clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament and will open against seventh-seeded Baylor at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma State (41-13, 18-5), which clinched the league’s regular-season title outright with its Friday night win against Oklahoma, opens the tournament against eighth-seeded OU at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Third-seeded Kansas (33-21, 15-9) opens against the sixth seed at 9 a.m. Seeds Nos. 4 and 5 play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament field of 64 teams. OSU, TCU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas and West Virginia likely have already earned at-large spots. A year ago, the Big 12 sent only three teams to the postseason — Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. K-State finished in last place in the Big 12 this season, which prevents the Wildcats from playing in the league tournament.

“It’s pretty disappointing that we didn’t at least get a piece of that [regular-season conference title], but we’re ready to put it behind us now and finish off this series and see what we can do in the postseason,” said third baseman Derek Odell, who had three hits on Friday.

TCU struggled offensively again, especially with runners in scoring position. The Frogs left 13 runners on base and had the bases loaded, twice with no outs and once with one out, but only managed a run each in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings.

“That was an anemic offensive effort,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We put all kinds of work in a ton of innings and score one run or no runs. I’m just really disappointed in our sense of urgency and energy in the dugout. Thank goodness for Preston, or we would have been in a dogfight. We ran the bases poorly. We have so much to play for.”

With TCU holding a 4-0 lead, Baylor had two runners on with no outs in the seventh, but Morrison worked out of the jam. He forced a pop-up to short and then two groundouts to keep the Bears off the board.

“I just wanted to make my pitches and really focus on making my pitches,” Morrison said. “Those runs weren’t going to hurt too bad, so I was trying to prevent the big inning. The last two guys, I was able to stay aggressive and make my pitches. I wasn’t afraid, so I went right at them.”

Morrison faced just three batters over the minimum before Travis Evans pitched the ninth.

“We have a lot of good pitchers, but the consistency with which Preston has gone about his whole college career is unbelievable,” TCU catcher Kyle Bacak said. “However good he is, when someone gets on, I just feel like they don’t even have a chance because he really, really locks in. Preston is the man.”

Baylor right-handed freshman Nick Lewis (0-0) will make his first career start Saturday against TCU lefty Tyler Alexander (7-3).

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?

Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
Chicago 11/28 1:00 PM ET
Golden State 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-BA, SPSO
New Orleans 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-NO, SPSO
Milwaukee 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Dallas 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: FSN-SW, TSN2
LA Clippers 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Orlando 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: FSN-FL, FSN-IN
New York 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: MSG, FSN-OK
Sacramento 11/28 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: CSN-CA, FSN-SW
Phoenix 11/28 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: FSN-AZ, Altitude
Memphis 11/28 10:00 PM ET
Portland TV: SPSO, CSN-NW
Minnesota 11/28 10:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Chicago17Final | Box
Detroit «34Gridiron Replay
Philadelphia «33Final | Box
Dallas10Gridiron Replay
Seattle «19Final | Box
San Francisco3Gridiron Replay
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Miami 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
NY Rangers 11/28 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NBC, SN
Chicago 11/28 4:00 PM ET
NY Islanders 11/28 5:00 PM ET
Washington TV: MSG, CSN-DC
Winnipeg 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports 2, TSN3, NESN
Montreal 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: RDS, MSG-BUF
Detroit 11/28 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-DET, MSG+
Carolina 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Vancouver 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Columbus TV: SN-PAC, FSN-OH
Ottawa 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: RDS2, TSN5, FSN-FL
Edmonton 11/28 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: SN-W, FSN-MW
Minnesota 11/28 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FSN-N+, FSN-SW+
Full Scoreboard