ASU falls to TCU in a 3-0 pitching duel

TCU’s starting right-hander pitcher Preston Morrison tossed just 88 pitches to earn his second win of the season, a 3-0 road victory at Arizona State. On Friday night Morrison allowed just three hits and a walk in a complete-game shutout. He retired 11 consecutive batters at one point, and struck out five.

Adding to Arizona State’s struggles were errors by Dalton DiNatale and Brian Serven also make errors that resulted in runs.

“This isn’t gonna be one where we overanalyze,” said ASU skipper Tracy Smith. “He (Morrison) did a tremendous job of keeping the ball down the strike zone. He is pretty good, pretty darn good.”

In the first inning ASU’s Johnny Sewald flied out to center field giving ASU their first out. Next at bat was Jordan Aboites who hit a huge triple down the right field line, but he is left stranded after Peevyhouse struck out swinging and Beall grounding out to first base.

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

That was the closest ASU came to scoring all night.

ASU gained their first error in the second inning when the ball hit Serven’s mitt when he attempted to catch the ball to tag out TCU’s Skoug. This gave the Horned Frogs a 1-0 lead. TCU’s Brown proceeds to steal second base. Next at bat was Cody Jones who hit an RBI single Increasing the lead to 2-0.

The Sun Devils’ starting pitcher Brett Lilek was pulled after six innings, 102 pitches, and seven strikeouts, Hever Bueno steps on to the mound in the seventh.

“Brett came in there and did his job,” Smith said. “Then (sophomore reliever) Hever Bueno came in and did a very good job of holding us right there. We fell asleep defensively… But our pitchers did their job, and tonight it did not go our way.”

Drama arose in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs Trever Allen had been hit by a pitch from Morrison, but the home plate umpire ruled Allen did not make an attempt to avoid the pitch, sending him back to the batters box just to get struck out.

The call stems for a new rule in college baseball in regards to getting hit by a pitch. The rule basically states that you have to make an attempt to get out of the way . Coach Smith feels that this rule could certainly be ambiguous at times.

"(that rule) Leaves a lot up to interpretation,” Smith remarked. “Did he leave his feet there? Yes. Did he turn his back away from the pitch? Absolutely. When a pitch is thrown in the right-handed batters box and hits a guy, and he (the umpire) says he didn't jump out of the way, I think that's a broad, broad interpretation."

Horned Frogs get a batter on base early in the 8th inning. TCU’s Evan Skoug singled to center field, advancing Connor Wanhanen to third. TCU scores a run on a delayed double steal, scoring the last run in a 3-0 decision.

ASU and TCU meet this afternoon at 1 p.m. for the second game in this three-game series.

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