Pitching paces Horned Frogs in top-five victory against Vanderbilt


LOS ANGELES — In a contest that featured two teams that can both claim a No. 1 ranking, it was No. 2 TCU that came out on top, besting No. 5 Vanderbilt 4-2 at Dodger Stadium. Keaton Jones’ two-run double in the sixth broke a 1-1 tie.

Preston Morrison twirled six innings in improving to 3-0 on the season. He allowed two runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four.

Tyler Alexander retired four of the five batters he faced, yielding just one hit and striking out one. Riley Ferrell picked up the five-out save, his fifth of the season. He walked one and fanned three.

Vanderbilt threatened in the first to take the early lead. Back-to-back one-out singles had runners on the corners. Morrison executed a third-to-first move and picked off Dansby Swanson for a big second out. A strikeout ended the frame without a run crossing the plate.

TCU took the lead in the fourth, scoring a run on three hits. Garrett Crain led off the frame with a base hit and moved to third on an Evan Skoug base knock. With one out, Derek Odell skied a high fly ball to left that was deep enough for the sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead.

A pair of two-out hits from the Commodores evened the game at one in the fifth. Karl Ellison doubled to left field to start the two-out rally. Jeren Kendall followed with a triple to right to drive in Ellison for a 1-1 game.

The Frogs responded in the top of the sixth with a pair of two-out runs of their own. Derek Odell singled with one out and moved to second on a two-out infield single from Nolan Brown. Keaton Jones came through with a double to left center to drive in both runners for a 3-1 lead.

Vanderbilt got a run back in the bottom of the frame to make it a one-run game. Rhett Wiseman led off the inning with a double and scored on a one-out single from Zander Wiel. The throw went through to the plate and Weil was standing on second with one out. Morrison buckled down and got a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.

TCU picked up a huge insurance run in the ninth to push its lead to two, 4-2. A walk to Brown opened the inning. After a Keaton Jones sacrifice bunt, Dane Steinhagen lined a single up the middle to drive in Brown with the fourth run of the game.

Ferrell issued a lead-off walk in the ninth, but came back to strike out the side to lock down the victory.

Not a bad week for TCU: 3-1 against 4 different opponents ranked in the top 25. Frogs are 5-2 against ranked foes this season.

— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) March 8, 2015

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