Trey Nielsen drove in three runs for Utah against TCU, including a two-run home run.
May 13, 2011
FORT WORTH - The Utah baseball team took advantage of errors to break a 5-5 tie in the 11th inning and down eighth-ranked TCU, 7-6, on Friday evening in Forth Worth.
Shaun Cooper reached on an error to lead off the 11th inning after the TCU right fielder dropped a high fly ball. He scored when Austin Shackelford reached on a throwing error after a sacrifice bunt. A pair of deep fly ball outs from Cody Guymon and Trey Nielsen would lead to pinch-runner Tyson Gonzalez scoring, giving Utah a two-run lead, 7-5.
TCU threatened quickly in the bottom of the 11th, with Jason Coats and Josh Elander combining for back-to-back one-out hits to score a run before reliever Tyler Wagner struck out the next two batters to give Utah the win.
Wagner pitched four innings, earning the win to go to 3-1 on the year. He allowed one run on two hits, striking out four.
"It was a great college baseball game," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We happened to get some breaks at the end and got it done, and Wags shut the door at the end of the game. It was a great win for our guys and hopefully it gives us some confidence coming back tomorrow."
With the win, Utah (16-5) is a half game behind first-place TCU (15-3) in the Mountain West Conference standings.
Utah put two runners on with no outs in the first inning, but could not score a run. TCU got on the board in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Joe Weik after Elander doubled.
Each team scored two runs in the second inning, as Trey Nielsen hit a two-run home run for the Utes while TCU took advantage of an error combined with timely hitting for their two runs, giving the Horned Frogs a 3-2 lead.
Both pitchers settled down after the early scoring onslaught - Rick Anton for Utah and Erik Miller for TCU - to put up zeros for the next several innings. The Utes looked to gain a cushion in the sixth inning, adding a run in the top of the inning after Shackelford and Guymon reached base with no outs with Shackelford scoring on Jo Jo Sharrar's ground out. Jimmie Pharr came right back for TCU with a home run in the bottom of the inning to keep the Ute lead at one run, 5-4.
Wagner entered in the eighth, and TCU tied the game after wild pitch put two runners in scoring position for Jantzen Witte's sacrifice fly.
Anton pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts.
Shackelford went 2-for-3 to lead Utah at the plate. Nielsen had three RBI.
Utah and TCU play game two of the series on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 3:00 p.m. MT.