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ASU Baseball: TCU squeaks by ASU in pitcher’s duel

(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)

Much like the wins against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, Colby Woodmansee had a prime opportunity to have a big hit for Arizona State.

But with Preston Morrison on the mound for the Horned Frogs, it just didn’t seem likely.

Down 3-0 in the ninth, with Jake Peevyhouse on first, Woodmansee had a chance to extend the game for the Sun Devils, but he promptly flew out to TCU center fielder Cody Jones to end the game and secure the Horned Frogs 3-0 victory.

TCU pitcher Preston Morrison stole the show Friday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, pitching a complete game and not allowing a single run in the process.

“Morrison did a tremendous job, of keeping the ball down in the strike zone,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “He’s pretty good, pretty darn good.”

Morrison gave up only three hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts and induced 15 ground outs on the evening.

Morrison still hasn’t allowed a run this season, as he came into this game with a 0.00 ERA.

“This isn’t gonna be one where we overanalyze, the guy’s pretty good,” Smith said. “He’s the ace of the staff that had a guy go to the big leagues immediately last year and pitched ahead of him on Friday nights. He’s pretty good.”

Other than a Jordan Aboites triple to right field in the first, ASU had difficulty mustering up any offense for the remainder of the game.

“I would have liked to have gotten that first run in the first inning just to see how things went, but we didn’t do it and we knew it was gonna be tough” Smith said. “You have limited opportunities off a guy like that, you have to execute and we didn’t do it.”

TCU struck first in the second inning with Evan Skoug scoring on a fielder’s choice, in which ASU catcher Brian Serven dropped a throw home from Dalton DiNatale.

The Frogs tacked on another in the same inning with a Keaton Jones single down the middle that scored Nolan Brown.

After the shaky second inning, ASU starting pitcher Brett Lilek rebounded nicely. The left-handed junior pitched until the seventh inning, struck out seven and only allowed three hits.

“Brett came in there and did his job,” Smith said. “He held us tight for six innings. Like I said, we drop a ball at the plate, which led to two, not necessarily just the one. He did his job.”

TCU tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when the Sun Devils were unable to execute a first-and-third rundown. Connor Wanhanen dashed to the plate, as Skoug coaxed the ASU middle infield into a rundown, to put TCU up 3-0 and seal the win.

Ryan Kellogg is set throw the first pitch Saturday at 1:oo p.m. MT, as the Sun Devils face off against TCU starter Tyler Alexander in the second game of the three-game series.


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