10-run 7th leads TCU past WVU 14-5

TCU Houston 36-13 victory

By Brandie Davidson

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – A 10-run top of the seventh helped TCU rally past No. 17 West Virginia with a 14-5 victory Friday night at Monongolia County Ballpark. Johnny Rizer homered twice in the game and drove in four runs.

West Virginia struck first, picking up a trio of runs in the first. A lead-off double was followed by a bunt single. Darius Hill hit a three-run shot to right to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.

Following the home run, Nick Lodolo (6-4) settled into a rhythm and held the Mountaineers in check. He surrendered just the three runs over six innings. The junior allowed just five hits, walked two and struck out nine. He retired the final nine batters he faced.

TCU had base runners in each of the first four innings, but weren’t able to crack the scoreboard until the fourth. Conner Shepherd led off the frame with a base hit. He was on third with two outs, when Zach Humphreys put down a perfect bunt to drive in the run.

In the fifth, the Frogs pulled within one, 3-2, on a two-out home run off the bat of Johnny Rizer.

TCU completed the comeback in the sixth with a pair of two-out runs to take a 4-3 lead. A base hit followed by a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases. Jake Guenther drove in the tying run on an infield single and an errant throw allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The offense came to life in the seventh as 14 men came to the plate and the Frogs blew the game open with a 10-spot to take a commanding 14-3 lead. Rizer’s second home run of the game lead-off the inning.

With one out, six straight hitters reached base. Humphreys drove in two with a base-loaded single. Josh Watson followed with a double to push the lead to 8-3 game. After the second out of the inning was recorded, six more runs crossed the plate. Rizer drove in two as did Shepherd and Adam Oviedo.

West Virginia picked up solo runs in the seventh and ninth to account for the final score.

With the victory, TCU improves to 25-19 overall and 7-9 in Big 12 play. Game time for the second game of the series has been shifted to an 11 a.m. start on Saturday. Charles King will get the start for the Horned Frogs.