Shaun Cooper hit a solo home run in the fourth inning for Utah's only run of the game.
May 15, 2011
FORT WORTH - Despite a stellar effort on the mound from Joe Pond, the Utah baseball team dropped a heartbreaker to eighth-ranked TCU, 2-1, after a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning sent Jason Coats in to score the game-winning run.
Pond and TCU's Nick Frey spent most of the game in a pitchers duel. Pond allowed just three hits through eight innings with six strikeouts. Frey surrendered six hits to the Utes, one of which was Shaun Cooper's solo home run in the fourth inning that gave Utah a 1-0 lead.
TCU got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning on an unearned run. Jerome Pena hit a one-out double to right center and scored on a fielding error by Michael Beltran at second, tying the game at 1-1.
Utah put two on with no one out in the sixth inning, as Beltran doubled to lead off the inning and C.J. Cron was intentionally walked but the Utes could not get a run in as Frey struck out the next two batters and a ground out ended the inning. TCU gambled in the bottom of the eighth inning when they sent Brance Rivera home on a hit-and-run play with Jantzen Witte's ground out to third, but Cron threw home after stepping on the bag at first to complete the double play.
Reliever Ben Mordini came on for Utah in the ninth inning. Although he walked Jason Coats to lead off the inning, Mordini struck out the next two batters. Taylor Featherston singled to center field while Coats moved to third. He scored after a pitch in the dirt got by Jo Jo Sharrar.
Austin Shackelford and Beltran each had two hits to lead Utah at the plate. The Utes out-hit TCU, 6-4.
Utah prepares to close out the regular season with a four-game home stand, beginning with Utah Valley on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. The Utes also begin a three-game series against UAB on Thursday, May 19 at noon.