Blanked

Preston Morrison threw a complete game one-hitter and TCU banged out 16 hits as the Horned Frogs throttled West Virginia 8-0 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Mountaineers, just one day after blowing a 3-1 ninth-inning lead in a 4-3 loss, showed surefire signs of a psychological and physical letdown, committing two errors in the first two innings and falling behind 4-0 after just six outs. Starter Sean Carley, who entered with a 5-0 record and 2.47 ERA, gave up 10 hits for five runs, four earned, with just one strikeout over five innings. The senior had solid control, throwing 60 strikes in 87 pitches, but was hindered by defensive miscues and the inability to get outs at key times. Shockingly, Carley gave up zero extra base hits and would have kept the Mountaineers in the game were it not for the absolute gem thrown by Morrison.

The 2013 All-Big 12 first-team selection retired 16 consecutive batters at one point while carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning; his lone blemish was a Bobby Boyd's double to open the frame. Morrison, 2-3 with a 2.32 ERA entering, allowed just one other base runner – Boyd, again – on a walk in the first inning. The right-hander tallied seven strikeouts and threw just 99 pitches, 70 for strikes, in his second complete game of the season and by far the most dominant outing by any pitcher facing West Virginia this season.

WVU's struggles began almost immediately. After giving up a leadoff single to start the game, Carley threw a pickoff attempt past first baseman Ryan McBroom that advanced Cody Jones all the way to third. Carley (5-1) then hit the next batter before a fielding error scored Jones and left runners at first and second. A bunt single to third loaded the bases, and TCU cashed in for a pair of runs off a single to right center for a 3-0 lead; TCU has outscored foes 26-3 in the first inning this season.

The Horned Frogs added another run in the second inning via three singles in its first four at-bats. WVU was fortunate to get out of the situation down just 4-0, but it mattered little with the overall offensive ineptitude displayed by the Mountaineers (16-10, 2-2 Big 12). No player besides Boyd even reached base, and the lone runner in scoring position against Morrison came on Boyd's double – meaning the 6-2, 185-pounder faced 29 batters with just a single one getting into scoring position. The rest of the West Virginia line-up combined to go zero-for-25 and actually finished with more errors (two) than hits (one).

TCU (18-12, 4-4) added on in the fifth inning with a trio of singles for a 5-0 lead. The Horned Frogs went ahead 8-0 in the seventh inning on a two-run double and a single through the left side as the Mountaineer bullpen was again challenged. Three different relievers were used in the inning, and at one point, between the three, had recorded just one out against two runs scored in the frame. Four different TCU players recorded two RBI, led by three-for-five efforts from leftfielder Boomer White and third baseman Derek O'Dell. White and O'Dell also scored two runs apiece.

West Virginia entered fourth in the Big 12 with a .289 team batting average, and were third in home runs with 14. The Mountaineers, which have lost two in a row and are guaranteed to drop the series, will attempt to salvage the third game in the latter portion of the doubleheader this evening. WVU will throw left-hander John Means (4-1, 1.60 ERA); TCU goes for the sweep with fellow southpaw Tyler Alexander (3-3, 3.25 ERA). The Horned Frogs rank second in the conference in team ERA at 2.98.


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