No. 10 TCU tops No. 22 Ole Miss 5-3

No. 10 TCU rebounded Sunday afternoon to beat No. 22 Ole Miss 5-3 and even up their opening two-game series.

The Frogs started an infield that was originally going to be their second string infield Sunday, but head coach Jim Schlossnagle said he is proud of them for stepping up in place of the injured starters.

"Sometimes those things happen for a reason," Schlossnagle said.

TCU jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Brance Rivera led off with a single, Kyle Von Tungeln bunted his way on and Jason Coats followed suit.

With the bases loaded and one out, Zac Jordan grounded into a fielder's choice to drive in Rivera. Von Tungeln also scored on the play after Ole Miss second baseman Alex Yarbrough made a throwing error trying to turn a double play. TCU led 2-0 after one.

They extended their lead to three in the fourth inning. Rivera grabbed a double to left field and Von Tungeln drove him in on a triple to deep right field.

Andrew Mitchell started on the mound for TCU and threw four scoreless innings before giving up three in the fifth inning.

Zach Kirksey led off that inning with a double and Auston Bousfield reached on a walk. With two outs Alex Yarbrough drove in the first run of the day for Ole Miss when his shot to first base wen through the legs of freshman Michael Resnick, who started at first base in place of the injured Kevin Cron.

That signaled the end of the day for Mitchell. He finished with 4.2 innings of work, allowing three earned runs on six hits and two strikeouts.

Freshman lefthander Brandon Finnegan came in with two men on base and allowed back-to-back RBI singles to matt snyder and Tanner Mathis. That tied the score up at 3.

Then Preston Morrision, a freshman righthander from North Carolina, came in and shut the Rebels down. After falling to a 3-0 count with two men on base against Will Allen, Morrison fought back and struck Allen out.

TCU took back their lead in the bottom half of the same inning when Brett Johnson and Davy Wright walked back-to-back with nobody out. Resnick, who failed to corral Yarbrough's RBI single earlier in the inning, came up with two outs and two men on base.

He got a pitch up in the zone and drove it off the wall in right field, bringing in Johnson and Wright to give TCU a 5-3 lead.

He said he just wanted to get his hands through the zone and let the bat take care of it. Having a home at-bat under his belt helped his confidence this afternoon.

"My first at-bat on Friday night it was almost overwhelming, but today it was a better crowd," Resnick said. "It wasn't as loud, and I settled in and felt really good."

Morrison then retired the next nine batters he faced. He threw 3.1 innings with two strikeouts and no hits or runs and grabbed his first collegiate win in his first appearance as a Horned Frog.

"Once I got that first strikeout I just settled down and it felt good," Morrison said.

In the 7th inning, Austin Anderson hit a long fly ball to right field, and Brance Rivera made an outstanding catch, leaping at the wall and taking away at least an extra base hit. That kind of support gave Morrison a lot of confidence on the mound.

"When you've got that defense you can just throw it in the strike zone and if they hit, someone is going to catch it," he said.

Head coach Jim Schlossnagle said Morrison will rely on the defense because his success on the mound is based on throwing strikes.

"He knows what he's doing and he's fearless," Schlossnagle said of the freshman righthander. "He's got great presence and he sinks the ball. You just have to play the defense behind him and we did."

Kaleb Merck, who did not play in 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery came in to close out the game and retired the side in the 9th inning, striking out one.

TCU evened their season record at 1-1 and tied their opening series, and Resnick said he was glad they started their winning ways.

"It's very important," Resnick said. "As a team you need to start somewhere, and today we started going. So a win was very good."

Schlossnagle said the missing piece to the 2011 team was solid defense and that was the difference for them this weekend.

"We walked one guy and made one error on the two games, and I think the story of the day was defense."

TCU travels to Baylor Tuesday for a 4:05 matchup with the Bears. You can follow the game live on gametracker or listen live on 88.7 KTCU.

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