FORT WORTH, Texas — Coming off of winter finals, it took eight innings for Dartmouth to shake the rust from a two-week layoff, but a ninth-inning rally fell short as the 27th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs handed the Big Green a 4-1 defeat on Friday night at Lupton Stadium. Brandon Finnegan tossed seven scoreless innings while striking out 10 to help TCU (10-7) win the first of three games against Dartmouth (1-3).
Finnegan (3-2) needed 96 pitches to finish off his seven-inning stint on the mound, with 67 of those throws going for strikes as he reached double digits in strikeouts for the fourth time in five starts this season. He yielded just three base runners, the first on an infield single by sophomore Nick Ruppert (who was erased attempting to steal), and the other two coming courtesy of senior Dustin Selzer who banged a solid single in the third and walked in the fifth. Selzer was also the only Big Green runner to reach second base with Finnegan on the mound thanks to a wild pitch.
With the tying run at the plate, TCU turned to Riley Farrell to get the third out, which he did with one pitch on a soft fly to center to earn his second save of the season.
TCU touched Big Green senior right-hander Louis Concato (0-1) for a run in the first. Cody Jones dropped down a bunt for a base hit and proceeded to steal second. He took third on a grounder to short, but had to hold his position on a foul pop to the catcher. Derek Odell poked a ball between short and third, however, for an RBI single and a 1-0 Horned Frog lead. The damage could have been worse as the next two hitters also singled, but left fielder Bo Patterson gunned down Odell at the plate to end the inning.
A one-out error in the fourth led to the Horned Frogs’ second run. After the miscue allowed Boomer White to reach first, Garrett Crain executed a perfect hit-and-run, slapping the ball directly where the shortstop was stationed before moving to cover second, putting runners on the corners. Dartmouth caught a break when Crain was called out for interference for running into Roulis as the latter attempted to field a ground ball. White had to return to third, but he and Jeremie Fagnan pulled off a double steal with White sliding just under the tag of catcher Matt MacDowell.
In the sixth, the Horned Frogs tacked on a third run when Kyle Bacak lined a shot to right deep enough for a sacrifice fly to score White, who led off the inning with base hit.
The final TCU run was unearned as White scored for the third time of the evening. He started the stanza by bunting for a hit, stole second as the second out was recorded on strikes, than came home when the potential third out was thrown over Selzer’s head at first for an error.
Concato pitched well, but was stuck with the loss for allowing three runs while scattering 10 hits over six innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out one. Sophomore Duncan Robinson tossed the final two frames, giving up just the one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout.
Both White and Crain had three hits to account for half of the 12-hit TCU attack. Kevin Cron had the only extra-base hit of the game with his fifth-inning double.
Due to a storm predicted to come through the Forth Worth area late tomorrow afternoon, TCU moved up the start of the second game of the series to 1 p.m. (EST). Sophomore right-hander Michael Danielak (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Big Green against the Horned Frogs’ righty Preston Morrison (1-2, 1.67).