Gonzaga rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh and held on for a 4-3 victory over No. 11-ranked TCU in the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Lupton Stadium.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Frogs (7-2). TCU had not lost since dropping the season opener to Loyola Marymount 5-3.
Gonzaga (5-4) used back-to-back singles in the seventh off Preston Guillory (0-1) before Taylor Jones laced an RBI double down the third-base line to tie the game 3-3. Justin Jacobs then lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Patrick Chung for the go-ahead run.
Gonzaga retired the next eight TCU batters before Ryan Merrill tripled with two outs in the ninth, but Dane Steinhagen struck out swinging to end the game.
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Steinhagen went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs, including a fielder’s choice RBI in the fourth that put TCU up 3-1. Catcher Evan Skoug also drove in a run for the Frogs.
I thought our at-bats at times were good, we squared some balls up, but we struck out an awful lot. We just have to be prepared to come out tomorrow.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle
TCU freshman Luken Baker gave up two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 inning. He was lifted in the sixth after walking Jeffery Bohling, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Harris off Ryan Burnett after a single by Tyler Frost moved Bohling to third.
“I thought Gonzaga played really well,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We didn’t pitch well out of the bullpen really for the first time this year. They had some balls fall in and then their three-hole hitter got the hit he’s supposed to get when we made a bad pitch.”
The Frogs managed just one hit off Zags relievers Sam Hellinger, who went 1 2/3 , and Daniel Bies, who struck out Steinhagen to earn the save.
“I thought our at-bats at times were good, we squared some balls up, but we struck out an awful lot,” Schlossnagle said. “We just have to be prepared to come out tomorrow.”