Fort Worth, Texas No. 1 TCU used four walks, two hits and an error to score five runs in the bottom of the first and held on to defeat Kansas University’s baseball team, 8-2, on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
KU baseball vs. TCU box score ( .PDF )
The Jayhawks dropped their season opener for the second straight year after falling, 3-1, to Eastern Michigan last year.
Jimmy Waters paced Kansas at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Relief pitcher Nolan Mansfield had it going on the mound, pitching four scoreless innings of relief.
TCU scored five runs in the first inning and three in the third to put the Jayhawks in an early hole. The key play in the first inning came on a hard-hit ground ball with the bases loaded. After a walk and a strikeout to open the game, Kansas starting pitcher T.J. Walz walked three in a row to give the Horned Frogs a 1-0 lead.
Then, TCU third baseman Jantzen Witte hit a ground ball that KU shortstop Brandon Macias stopped and threw to second to start a double play. However, the throw was late and then Kaiana Eldredge’s ensuing throw hit the base runner and bounced into right field. TCU scored two more runs for a 4-0 advantage.
Walz was wild in his first start of 2011, walking four and hitting two. Both of his hit batsmen came with two strikes. TCU finally chased the Jayhawk starter after three straight hits with two outs in the third inning.
That was more than enough support for TCU starter Matt Purke. The sophomore starter allowed just one hit over four innings to earn the victory.
KU scored its runs on a triple by Jake Marasco and a wild pitch in the fifth and a double by Waters and two sacrifices in the seventh.
Game 2 of the series at TCU begins at 2 p.m. today at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.