TCU holds on to win Big 12 tournament opener behind Jordan Kipper’s arm

Posted Wednesday, May. 21, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

A team’s Tuesday night starter isn’t usually the kind of pitcher that takes the ball in Game 1 of a postseason tournament.

But TCU right-hander Jordan Kipper isn’t a typical Tuesday starter, as Baylor can attest.

Kipper, a junior college transfer who gave the Horned Frogs a steady diet of strong midweek starts throughout the season, opened the Big 12 Conference tournament with a gem against Baylor on Wednesday afternoon.

The junior held Baylor scoreless on three hits over seven innings in TCU’s 8-5 win at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The No. 2-seeded Horned Frogs (39-15) advance to play sixth-seeded West Virginia (28-24) at 4 p.m. Thursday. TCU’s Preston Morrison (8-3), who was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, will get the start. Lefty Ross Vance (3-3) will start for the Mountaineers.

“I know a lot of schools call it that, like he’s a second-class citizen, but he’s not, at least not on our team,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said about the “Tuesday starter” tag. “Jordan could easily pitch in our weekend rotation and we feel like if he’s back next year he will. We had 100 percent confidence in him.”

Kipper (8-2) struck out seven, including the final two batters with the bases loaded in the seventh. With the win, Kipper now has a better record than TCU’s three weekend starters, who are all 8-3.

“TCU didn’t sandbag it today,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said. “They threw a guy out there that they had all the confidence in the world in. His numbers support that. And he backed them up.”

Baylor’s Dillon Newman (5-4) took the look after allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings. Newman beat TCU last Thursday after holding the Frogs to one earned run on five hits.

TCU’s offense, however, was hardly fooled in the tournament opener. Every position player collected at least one hit, except for Dylan Fitzgerald, whose sinking liner to left field was ruled an error. Five players had at least two hits, including Cody Jones, who was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.

The Frogs scored twice in the first inning after Jones led off with a walk and Derek Odell doubled down the third-base line. Boomer White caught the Bears off guard with a bunt single towards third, which scored Jones. Odell scored on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Crain. Bear’s center fielder Logan Brown made a shoe string catch and then doubled up White, who left second base not realizing that Brown had made the catch. Odell’s run counted because he scored before the third out was recorded.

TCU added runs in the third and fourth innings on RBI singles from Odell and Jerrick Suiter. The Frogs added three more runs on five hits in the sixth and forced Baylor to its bullpen. Fitzgerald’s single to left scored Kevin Cron and Keaton Jones’ single up the middle scored Crain and Suiter. Keaton Jones led the Frogs with three RBIs on two hits.

Kipper came out of the bullpen last week and held Baylor scoreless for 4 2/3 innings. It was more of the same on Wednesday.

“We didn’t do much with him then either,” Smith said. “I think he’s really good. That’s another reason why I think they’re a national seed. You’ve got a No. 4 in him that’s really, qualitatively, going to match up well with a whole lot of people’s Nos. 1 and 2s.

Baylor (24-30) scored a run in the eighth against reliever Brian Trieglaff and added four runs in the ninth against pitcher Mitchell Traver, Riley Ferrell came on to get the final two outs to earn his 12th save.

The Bears play Kansas at 9 a.m. Thursday. The No. 3-seeded Jayhawks (34-23) lost the tournament opener to the Mountaineers Wednesday morning 10-9 after blowing an 8-2 lead.

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
Toronto2Final | Box
NY Yankees «5
Washington «2Final | Box
Miami1
NY Mets «10Final | Box
Atlanta2
Boston «3Final | Box
Baltimore2
Milwaukee0Final | Box
Pittsburgh «1
Chicago WSox «10Final | Box
Tampa Bay5
Seattle3Bottom 8th | Box
Houston7@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-HOU
Detroit2Top 9th | Box
Kansas City5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-KC, TBS
Cleveland7Bottom 9th | Box
Minnesota2@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Los Angeles7Top 8th | Box
Chicago Cubs4@theBallpark | TV: SportsNet LA, CSN-CHI
Texas0Top 6th | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SW, FSN-W
Philadelphia3Top 4th | Box
Oakland4@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, CSN-CA
Arizona0Top 5th | Box
Colorado3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, ROOT-RM
San Francisco0Bottom 4th | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | 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 Diego «22Final | Box
Buffalo10
Tennessee7Final | Box
Cincinnati «33
Baltimore «23Final | Box
Cleveland21
Green Bay7Final | Box
Detroit «19
Indianapolis «44Final | Box
Jacksonville17
Oakland9Final | Box
New England «16
Minnesota9Final | Box
New Orleans «20
Houston17Final | Box
NY Giants «30
Washington34Final | Box
Philadelphia «37
Dallas «34Final | Box
St. Louis31
San Francisco142nd Qtr 2:00 | Box
Arizona6@theGridiron | TV: FOX
Kansas City72nd Qtr 6:38 | Box
Miami0@theGridiron | TV: CBS
Denver32nd Qtr 5:27 | Box
Seattle3@theGridiron | 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
Columbus «4Final | Box
Carolina3
Buffalo01st Prd 13:46 | Box
Washington0TV: 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