Suiter's Triple Sinks Titans in Home Opener
Feb. 24, 2012
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Fullerton, Calif. - A two-run, pinch-hit triple to the right-field corner in the top of the eighth inning by Horned Frog Jerrick Suiter drove home the tying and winning runs as No. 15 TCU edged Cal State Fullerton 3-2 Friday night in the Titans' home opener at Goodwin Field.
Dylan Floro (0-1) took the loss after surrendering four consecutive hits in the top of the eighth inning after retiring 11 in a row and allowing just two hits through 7.1 innings of work. The junior struck out four without a walk and the Titans fell to 1-3 on the year.
Reliever Preston Morrison earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief, but it was starter Andrew Mitchell that had the Titan hitters uncharacteristically off balance. The right-hander struck out a career-high 12 batters in just five innings of work and allowed just one run on two hits and three walks.
Kaleb Merck allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth, but held on to earn his second save of the year. TCU improves to 2-2.
Mitchell held the Titans hitless for 3.2 innings and scoreless until the fourth. Anthony Trajano walked to lead things off for the Titans and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Derek Legg. An out and a walk later, Carlos Lopez nearly hit into an inning-ending double play, but beat it out at first, driving home Trajano for the 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 into the eighth. With two outs, Davy Wright blooped a single to right off Floro and pinch-hitter Axel Johnson singled through the left side to put runners at first and second. Suiter then came up and sent a ball down the right field line that rightfielder Ivory Thomas dove for and missed, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score. A batter later, Suiter scored as Richy Pedroza's throw pulled Lopez off the base on a grounder off the bat of Kyle Von Tungeln, giving the Frogs a 3-1 lead.
Fullerton was in a position to make something happen in the bottom of the ninth as Pedroza was hit by a pitch and Trajano reached on a fielding error by Josh Gonzalez. Derek Legg, unable to get a sacrifice bunt down, bounced into a 4-6-3 double play with two strikes, sending Pedroza to third. Michael Lorenzen, who was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, fanned again in his fifth at bat, but extended the inning by reaching on a wild pitch. Pedroza came home with the Titans' final run on the ball that went to the back-stop. Merck got Ivory Thomas to pop out to right to end the game.
Fullerton and TCU will play the second game of the three-game series Saturday night at 6 p.m.. Grahamm Wiest will be on the mound for the Titans. Stefan Crichton will go for the Horned Frogs.
NOTES: Fullerton had just four hits in the game, but reached base via the strikeout-wild pitch three times... Everyone in the Titan starting lineup except Trajano struck out at least once... Mitchell struck out three in an inning two times on Friday night and of his 12 strikeouts, 11 of them were swinging.