TCU Evens Series with 8-6 Win at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton
Feb. 22, 2009
FULLERTON, Calif. - The No. 32 TCU Horned Frogs held on for an 8-6 victory over No. 5 Cal State Fullerton to even the season-opening series at a game apiece. Chris Ellington broke a 4-4 tie with a double in the seventh and the Frogs bullpen made the lead stand. Ben Carruthers tallied three hits to lead the offense and Kaleb Merck pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to the early lead in the second inning on a solo home run off the bat of Khris Davis.
After being held down through three innings, the Frogs came to life in the fourth inning, scoring two runs on two hits to take their first lead of the game. Matt Curry lined a one-out single up the middle and moved to third on a double off the bat of Jason Coats. Titan starter Kyle Witten uncorked a wild pitch that tied the game at one. Bryan Holaday followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that gave TCU the 2-1 advantage.
Similar to Friday night, the Titans had an answer as they scored two of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. A single and a stolen base from Davis set up the tying run as he raced home on a double by Nick Ramirez. After a wild pitch moved Ramirez to third, Joe Scott put the Titans back in front with an RBI-groundout.
TCU had a response as it pushed across two runs in the top of the fifth to reclaim the one-run lead. Corey Steglich opened the inning with a double off the wall in left field. Matt Carpenter first hit of the 2009 campaign tied the game at three as he laced a double to the gap in right center to plate Steglich. Carpenter scored the go-ahead run on a base hit up from Curry. Sean Hoelscher tacked a zero on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame to keep the game at 4-3 in favor of the Frogs.
The Titans continued to fight back and got the equalizer in the bottom of the sixth inning. A bunt single off the bat of Josh Fellhauer to open the inning translated into the tying run. A one-out double from Ramirez tied the game at four. Hoelscher stranded Ramirez at third, retiring the final two batters of the inning.
The see-saw battle continued as they Frogs responded with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh,taking a lead they would never relinquish. Ellington plated Carpenter with a one-out double and scored on two wild pitches from Fullerton reliever Michael Morrison.
Gary Brown tripled to lead off the seventh, ending Hoelscher's evening. Erik Miller came on in relief of Hoelscher and limited the damage to one run. Brown scored on an error, but Miller got a big double play ball off the bat of Christian Colon. He fanned Jared Clark to end the inning.
TCU regained its two run lead with a run in the eighth inning. Holaday worked a lead-off walk and scored on a two-out single from Carruthers. The Titans answered to keep the deficit at one as they picked up an unearned run.
Curry's first home run of the season gave the Frogs some breathing room in the top of the ninth and Merck made it stand with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Hoelscher (1-0) went six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. He walked one and fanned eight. Miller went two innings, giving up an unearned run on one hit and struck out three.
The Frogs (1-1) will go for the series win on Sunday afternoon. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (CST). Kyle Winkler will go for TCU and face Fullerton's Tyler Pill.