June 19, 2010

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Holaday, Purke help TCU top Florida State

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – The suspense was over after one.


The Horned Frogs took control with five runs in the first, and freshman lefty Matt Purke (right) pitched seven strong innings as TCU topped Florida State 8-1 in the opening game of the 2010 College World Series in front of 23,649 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Frogs (52-12), victorious in their first College World Series game, will face the winner of Saturday’s Florida-UCLA game on Monday at 8 p.m. CT. The Seminoles (47-19) will meet the loser at 1 p.m. Monday in an elimination game.


“Great win for us,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “I thought that Matt threw really well when he had to. I thought the first inning was a difference-maker.”


FSU got on the board in the top of the first. Tyler Holt reached on a leadoff single and came around to score as Sherman Johnson had an infield single that was followed by a two-base throwing error.


With Johnson on third and no outs, catcher Bryan Holaday went out to calm Purke. The lefty responded by striking out three straight, all swinging, to keep it 1-0.


“After the error was made,” Holaday said, “I went out there and I said, ‘Hey, this is all on you. Just regroup. You’ve done it all year.’ Matt made some really good pitches and he did what he had to do to get out of the inning.”


The Horned Frogs erupted for five in the bottom of the frame. Jerome Pena and Holaday had consecutive singles to spark the rally. After squaring around and letting two pitches go by, Jason Coats lined a double down the left field line to give TCU the lead. Joe Wiek added a RBI single, Taylor Featherston had a sacrifice fly and Aaron Schultz chipped in a run-scoring base hit as the Frogs built a 5-1 lead.


“It take the pressure off of you,” Purke said of the early four-run cushion, “and you’re able to just go out and throw and just compete, and that’s what we’ve done all year long.”


Jantzen Witte walked and scored on a suicide squeeze in the third. Holaday (left) homered in the fourth, his 14th, and Coats added a RBI single in the eighth as TCU pushed the advantage to 8-1.


While TCU was adding to its first-inning total, Purke was putting up zeroes against FSU. Purke finished with four hits and one unearned run in seven innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. He improved to 15-0 on the season.


 Holaday went 3 for 5 with two runs. Coats finished with two hits and three RBI.


Holt and Johnson both had a hit and a walk for the Seminoles.


“That’s just a credit to TCU,” FSU head coach Mike Martin said. “They did a great job of playing defense and making quality pitches. From our side, we didn’t make an error. You might just say we got our butts whipped, plain and simple.”


(photos courtesy of TCU Media Relations Office)