TCU’s Brandon Finnegan regains form, if not the victory

05/30/2014 11:34 PM

05/31/2014 12:42 AM

Any worry about TCU pitcher Brandon Finnegan proved to be unnecessary.

The left-hander from Fort Worth Southwest High School looked like his old self Friday night at Lupton Stadium. He struck out 12 and held Siena to four hits over 7 1/3 innings.

Although he didn’t figure in the decision of the Horned Frogs’ 2-1 win in 11 innings, his performance bodes well for TCU’s postseason chances.

It’s the second strong outing for Finnegan since returning from a missed start a month ago after suffering from soreness in his throwing shoulder.

Finnegan’s velocity and command were as good as they were when he beat Texas in Austin on April 17. His 98 pitches and 7 1/3 innings were the most he’s thrown since that eight-inning outing.

TCU’s defense came up with several nifty plays, including those from shortstop Keaton Jones and second baseman Garrett Crain.

“Any time you got a defense playing behind you like we had tonight, it keeps us in it, and you know it’s going to be a good night,” Finnegan said.

The pitcher breezed through the Saints’ lineup early, facing the minimum the first three innings. A lead-off single and double in the eighth tied the game at 1-1 and forced Finnegan from the mound.

“It was fun,” he said. “Sure you want more runs, but close games are always fun to pitch in.

“Unfortunately, I gave up that one hit and got some bad luck, but we still won and that’s all that matters.”

Finnegan and Riley Ferrell, who replaced him in the eighth, combined for a season-high 17 strikeouts for the Frogs.

Big name to fill

Dallas Baptist pitcher Cy Sneed pitched well in the Patriots’ loss on Friday. Sneed (8-3) did not figure in the decision after allowing one run and striking out four in six innings.

The right-hander from Twins Falls, Idaho, was named after Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who is the all-time major league leader with 511 wins.

So Sneed’s path in baseball was etched early on.

“My parents were both big baseball fans,” he said. “It worked out pretty well. I guess they didn’t give me a whole lot of options.”

Key stat

14 Runners left on base for TCU, including nine stranded in scoring position.

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