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February 23, 2013

Cal State Fullerton contains TCU offense, downs Frogs 7-2

Jantzen Witte and Keaton Jones each had two hits apiece, but Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Thomas Eshelman was able to contain the TCU offense, as the Titans dropped the Horned Frogs, 7-2, Friday night at Lupton Stadium.

Eshelman tossed 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out eight while only giving up three hits.

TCU (0-4) didn't collect a hit until Witte's single in the fourth inning. Matters were made worse by an error by Jones, which cost a run, and three passed balls given up by catcher Kyle Bacak.

"This is completely different than the weekend in Mississippi," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "We didn't pitch necessarily very well at all. The game of pitch and catch was very hard for us tonight. We had balls going to the backstop, which is uncharacteristic of Bacak."

Video: Cal State Fullerton silences TCU offense, beats Horned Frogs, 7-2


TCU starter Brandon Finnegan threw 4.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Finnegan walked four batters, including the first of the game, Richy Pedroza, who would eventually come around to score and give the Titans (6-0) a lead they would hold the rest of the night.

"Brandon obviously wasn't at his best, but I thought he gave us a chance to stay in the game," Schlossnagle said. "Eshelman was good. He wasn't anything different than what we thought he was going to be."

Finnegan gave way to Trey Teakell, who gave up a run in 2.1 innings of work. Stefan Crichton gave up two runs in the eighth, while Justin Scharf gave up a run in the ninth inning.

"It's disappointing," Schlossnagle said. "It's just disappointing. I think we got a group of guys that are really trying hard. We have a chance to be a good club, but we're not right now."

Kevin Cron, Derek Odell and Jerrick Suiter -- TCU's 3-, 4-, and 5-hole hitters, respectively -- combined to go 0-for-9 at the plate. Suiter hasn't picked up a hit yet this season, while Cron is batting .167 and Odell batting .062.

Schlossnagle said TCU has to have those three guys get going. The Frogs have no other option.

"We have some options at the support player role, but the middle of our order is going to be the middle of our order," Schlossnagle said. "There's not going to be any change to that. We're going to live and die with those guys."

Cron, who led TCU in hitting last season, struck out three times.

"He's trying really hard," Schlossnagle said. "I've seen him chase the ball down in the zone, but I've never seen him chase it up. Everybody's just wanting to be that guy right now. Somebody needs to be, but there's a way to do it and it's not over-trying, which is tough."

The two teams will meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. Right-hander Preston Morrison will start for TCU.


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