TCU loses to Cal State Fullerton, drops to 0-4 in baseball

02/22/2013 11:40 PM

03/14/2013 2:28 PM

TCU is still looking for someone to come up with a big hit.

Even more importantly, the Horned Frogs are still looking for their first win.

Cal State Fullerton beat TCU 7-2 on Friday night to open a three-game series before a crowd of 4,294 at Lupton Stadium.

The Frogs (0-4) are off to their worst start in coach Jim Schlossnagle’s 10-year tenure, and so far an anemic offense is largely to blame.

Titans starting pitcher Thomas Eshelman (2-0) earned the win after holding TCU scoreless on three hits through 5 2/3 innings.

He struck out eight and walked none. In the sixth, Keaton Jones led off with a bloop single and Jantzen Witte doubled to right-center to give the Frogs runners in scoring position with two outs.

But Koby Gauna replaced Eshelman on the mound and got Kevin Cron to ground out to end the inning. Cron struck out three times and left three runners stranded in scoring position. TCU’s Nos. 3-5 hitters — Cron, Derek Odell and Jerrick Suiter — were a combined 0 for 9 with five strikeouts.

“We have some options at the support-player roles but the middle of our order is going to be the middle of our order,” Schlossnagle said. “There’s not going to be any change to that. We’re going to live and die with those guys.”

The 20th-ranked Titans (5-0) took advantage of Frogs starter Brandon Finnegan (0-2), who walked four and allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed the leadoff man to reach in three of his first four innings, but held Fullerton to a 1-0 lead until the fifth. An infield single, followed by a misplayed fly to right that turned into a triple, led to two more runs and a 3-0 lead in the fifth.

Fourteen of the TCU’s first 15 hitters were retired. The Frogs scored two in the seventh to pull to within 4-2 on Jones’ two-run single to the right-field corner. But a base-running mistake on a delayed double steal ended the inning when Travis Hennessey was caught in a rundown between third and home.

“So far we haven’t played well, especially tonight,” said Witte, who had two of TCU’s six hits. “But [Saturday] we’ll come out with fire under our rear ends and come out swinging.”

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