FORT WORTH, Texas -- Oral Roberts could not find a late rally to break into the score column Friday night at Lupton Stadium, falling to No. 9 ranked TCU in the opening round of the Fort Worth Regional, 7-0.
TCU scored one run in the first inning on an errant throw into left field on a steal attempt. Sophomore right-hander Bryce Howe worked out of trouble early in the game, but TCU eventually got their bats going in the sixth and seventh inning, scoring six runs to put the game out of reach.
The Horned Frogs looked to add to their lead in the third as they had the bases loaded on three walks, but redshirt senior Trevin Sonnier had other plans as he ended the TCU threat with a bare-handed pickup and throw for the third out on a slow chopper to shortstop.
TCU opened the sixth inning with only three hits on the night, but quickly jumped out on the Golden Eagles with a leadoff walk and a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners with no outs. TCU would pad its lead with a score on a passed ball followed by back-to-back base hits, one of which was a two-run home run to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
Inside The Box Score
- The Golden Eagles now lead the all-time series to the Horned Frogs, 26-18 following the loss.
- It marks the second shutout of the year against ORU, with the only other coming in a 5-0 loss to Missouri State March 2.
- No batter in the game collected multiple hits, but all nine players in the TCU starting lineup finished with a hit.
- Noah Cummings finished 1-for-4 with a double.
- Bryce Howe allowed only four hits and three runs in his outing. The right-hander gave up a season-high eight walks.
- Mitchell Traver (1-1) earned the win after going five innings and allowing just two hits. Howe was charged with the loss, falling to 6-5 on the season.
Head Coach Ryan Folmar
"Obviously it's disappointing to drop the first game, but I like the way we competed. We came out and got after it. I like the way Bryce [Howe] competed throughout the game, so it's disappointing to lose the first one, but we've been a resilient type of club all year long, so I expect us to come back out here tomorrow and play well."
On Bryce Howe's performance
"I don't think you ever go in there expecting a number of innings. We expected him to compete well, and that's what he did. I thought his stuff was really good. I thought if he would have commanded a little better, we could have kept him out there a little bit longer, but I appreciate the way he was getting after it. He overcame a lot of mistakes throughout the game. Again, I thought his stuff was really good. The command just wasn't what it normally is for Bryce, but I'm very proud of the way he competed during the game."
"His pitch count climbed pretty high. He was near 110, 112 pitches deep, and Josh [McMinn] has been pretty good, so we trusted him in that moment. It didn't turn out very well, but again I'm very proud of the way Bryce competed. I can't say that enough."
On the mentality for Saturday
"We trust our team, we trust our preparation. Right now it's about playing well and finding a way to win. We understand that it's win or go home now, but we've been in this spot before. We've had to treat a lot of our series to prepare us for these moments. I like our our guys. I like the resiliency of our team. I like the toughness our team, so we're going to come out and give it a run."
Oral Roberts will take on No. 2 seed Arizona State Saturday at 11 a.m. in an elimination game. Senior Nick Wood will get the call for the Golden Eagles on the mound.
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