FORT WORTH, Texas –
Three errors, including two in a three-run seventh inning for TCU, spelled the difference for the Cal State Northridge Matadors (15-26) in a 6-2 loss to the No. 23 Horned Frogs (28-13) on Friday night at Lupton Stadium. The Matadors pounded out 10 hits and drew within a run late before TCU finally pulled away.
"We need to play a full game. We played two-thirds of the game today and played them pretty well," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "We needed to finish that thing tonight and we need to finish tomorrow."
In the first-ever meeting between the two programs, TCU took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Boomer White singled and Kevin Cron doubled before a passed ball allowed a run to score.
The Matadors responded with a run in the top of the third to tie the game. With two outs, an apparent injury forced TCU to replace starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan on the mound.
Against reliever Trey Teakell, William Colantono laced a double down the left field line and Ranny Lowe reached on an infield single. The throw to first to get Lowe missed its mark while Colantono came around to score.
The Horned Frogs regained the lead at 2-1 without getting a hit in the home half of the third. Derek Odell walked to open the inning and on ball four to Cron he advanced to third on an error by Dylan Alexander behind the plate.
With one out Cron was caught stealing second but Odell was running as well and crossed the plate without a throw home.
TCU extended its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Garrett Crain hit a solo home run to right field with one out. It was the first hit in the game for the Horned Frogs since the first inning against Brycen Rutherford.
Cal State Northridge began to rally in the top of the seventh and scratched across a run to bring the score to 3-2. With the bases loaded and one out, Chester Pak reached first on an error by the shortstop that allowed Nicolas Osuna to score from third. TCU recovered during the next at-bat, however, getting a force out at the plate to keep the lead before a strikeout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh the Horned Frogs capitalized on two CSUN errors to score three runs and put the final scoring line at 6-2. With runners on the corners and one out, a single to left field was bobbled and resulted in two runners in scoring position and a TCU run.
The next batter fouled out to right field and the ensuing throw to the infield bounced into the TCU dugout, allowing both runners to score.
The Matadors got two hits in the eighth but were held off the scoreboard and could not get a runner aboard in the ninth.
Rutherford (3-4) was hit with the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits in 6.0 innings. Teakell (3-0) picked up the win after 2.1 innings in relief while Alex Young pitched the final 4.0 innings to earn his first save of the year.
"The offense put together some tenacious at-bats," added Moore. "We were rewarded for that with balls that found the hole and balls that got in the gap. If they stay with their approach they'll not try to do too much against good stuff."
The Matadors and Horned Frogs will continue their three-game series on Saturday afternoon, April 26. First pitch at Lupton Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT (2 p.m. PT).