Raiders Outlast TCU 14-13

<b>Tech</b> and Texas Christian played an ugly game of last man standing on Tuesday. <p> <br>

The Raiders broke open a 6-6 tie with eight runs in the top of the ninth then watched the Horned Frogs close to within the tying run in scoring position before getting the final out of a 14-13 slugfest at the TCU Diamond.

With the win, Tech improves to 9-4 on the year heading into tomorrow's two-game series finale with TCU (3-5). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m., but just who will pitch for the Red Raiders will be a tough decision simply because nearly everyone available threw on Tuesday.

The Raiders went through seven pitchers, most of whom struggled. Starter Matt Harbin was effective for the first 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

But after J.J. Newman and Justin Cleveland combined to give up the lead in the span of three batters, Steve Rowe settled things down for the next 2 2/3 innings, allowing Tech to tie the game at 6-all going into the ninth, eventually getting the victory to improve to 2-0.

That's when it got hairy.

Tech loaded the bases with no outs against former Raider Aaron Tims before Chris Osentowski surrendered a two-run single to Nick Blankenship. Back-to-back singles by Willie Durazo and Gera Alvarez, whose infield bloop fell for a hit, gave the Raiders a 10-6 lead.

Jake Brown then ripped a three-run homer to left to push it to 13-6, and Scooter Jordan added a sacrifice fly to give Tech a seemingly comfortable 14-6 lead.

TCU, however, had other ideas. Tech reliever Stephen Leist quickly loaded the bases on a hit batter, an error by center fielder Tyler Carson and a walk before Mike Settle hit a grand slam to left, making it a 14-10 game. Leist got Walter Olmstead to strike out but allowed a double to Justin Hatcher.

Matt Lair relieved Leist but surrendered a double to Jake Duncan and single to Chris Meeks that pulled the Frogs to within 14-11.

Chad Ertel, Tech's final hurler, walked pinch-hitter Rudy Ontiveros to load the bases, struck out pinch-hitter Chris Bratton, then allowed a two-run single to Terry Trofholz as TCU closed to within 14-13. Ertel finally stopped the bleeding when he got Marshall Wilson to line out to Alvarez at shortstop to end the game.

In all, the two teams combined to send 26 batters to the plate in the ninth inning, getting 15 runs on 13 hits.

Tech appeared early in the game it would score often as TCU's pitching wasn't much better. The Raiders got a run in the first off Frogs starter Clint Mokry on an RBI groundout by Jordan. Carson made it 2-0 in the second with a single before Jordan responded again with a bases-loaded double, clearing the sacks for a 5-0 Tech lead.

Ryan Grafe, however, settled things down for TCU, allowing the Horned Frogs to quickly cut Tech's lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the second on a two-run homer by Duncan and a solo shot by Levi Robinson. The Horned Frogs took the lead in the sixth on RBI groundouts by Olmstead and Will Lewis and a solo home run by Jonathan Marshall.

Grafe went 5 1/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts before giving way to Tims in the eighth. Durazo led off with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored when Tims' attempt to pick Travis McLeroy off first got away from Olmstead.

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