Durbin Feltman has been so good for TCU, that it’s expected that he can come to the mound in any situation and get the job done - and for the first 18 times he was asked to do so, he had delivered. But Sunday he blew a save for the first time in his illustrious two-year career as the Frogs’ closer, as he was asked to protect a one-run TCU lead after getting a five out save less than 24 hours previously.
Sunday was a near-disastrous outing for the Frogs overall, who were picked off three times and left ten runners on base. Brian Howard went 5.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits along with four walks issued and seven strikeouts handed out. WVU had base runners in every inning he pitched, but he got himself out of trouble more often than not in a 119 pitch performance. After the Mountaineers struck for one run in the first and two in the third, the combination of Howard, Ryan Burnett, and Sean Wymer held them scoreless until the ninth. Meanwhile, TCU tied things up in the second when Connor Wanhanen doubled in Luken Baker, and took the lead in the fourth on the strength of four straight hits leading to three runs. Luken Baker got things started with a one out single, followed by Josh Watson’s base knock, and Nolan Brown’s RBI ground-rule double. A wild pitch - a theme of the weekend - scored Watson, and Brown scooted home on Wanny’s single up the middle to make it 4-3.
The Frogs squandered several opportunities from that point on, failing to stretch their lead. That left things at 4-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth, and despite asking his to get five outs Saturday night, Schloss called on Durbin Feltman once again for a save. After striking out the first batter he faced, Feltman hit a batter to put the tying run on, and proceeded to walk the next three hitters he faced to tie things up. Cal Coughlin was called upon next, inheriting a bases loaded, one-out jam. He got the second out of the inning with a K of his own, but walked in the winning run a batter later, making the final score 5-4.
The loss gives TCU their first Big 12 series loss of the year, after they had previously dropped just a single conference game in nine chances. It cuts their lead over the Mountaineers to just one game, as WVU moves into a tie for second with Texas Tech. Both losses in Morgantown came in the bottom of the ninth inning.
TCU will take the midweek game off this week before facing Baylor at home this weekend. The bye may help them to clean up some of the mistakes and refocus before facing the Bears, Red Raiders, Longhorns, and Sooners in consecutive weekends.