TCU Rallies to Top Wichita State 6-5
March 6, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas - Trailing 5-2 with one out in the eighth inning, the No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs scored four runs to come back and defeat Wichita State, 6-5. Matt Vern hit a three-run home run into the wind to tie the game and Ben Carruthers singled in the go-ahead run to get the Frogs back in the win column.
With one out in the eighth inning, Jason Coats got the Frog rally started with a double to right center. Taylor Featherston walked to put two on for Vern, who unloaded on a 3-1 pitch into the teeth of the wind for his second home run of the season, tying the game at five. The Shockers called on a new pitcher, but Josh Smith surrendered a two-out hustle double to Corey Steglich. Carruthers followed with a single to right that put the Frogs back on top, 6-5.
The game did not lack drama as the first two Shockers reached base. Will Baez was hit by the first pitch he saw and Kevin Hall dropped in a bloop single to left to move the tying run into scoring position. Erik Miller settled in and retired the final three batters in the inning to preserve the win and earn his first career save.
TCU took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring two runs on three hits. Matt Carpenter singled with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Matt Curry battled through a nine-pitch at-bat, drawing a walk to put two on with two out. Coats singled through the right side to drive in the first run of the game. Featherston doubled on the first pitch he saw to drive in Curry for a 2-0 lead.
Tyler Lockwood worked out of a bases loaded jam in the second to keep the lead intact. Clinton McKeever doubled with one out and Cody Lassley walked. An error on the infield loaded the bases for the Shockers. Lockwood got a huge out when he fanned Taylor Brown for the second out, then Vern made a lunging grabbed on a line drive off the bat of Mitch Caster for the final out of the inning.
The Shockers finally got on the board in the fourth inning. McKeever walked and moved to second with two outs. Josh Rosecrans singled to make it a 2-1 lead.
A costly error in the sixth inning led to four runs and a 5-2 Shocker lead. Ryan Jones and Chris O'Brien hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game at two. Another Frog error put runners on the corners with nobody out. Carpenter made a nice play on a ball hit right at him and threw the runner out trying to score from third for the first out of the inning.
After Rosecrans singled to reload the bases, the Frogs turned to Taylor Cragin in the bullpen. Brown singled to put the Shockers ahead 3-2. Cragin froze Caster at the plate for out No. 2, but Baez dropped in a two-run double to give WSU a 5-2 lead.
Cragin (2-0) did a good job holding the Shockers in check for the next two innings to allow the Frogs to come back. He tossed 2 2/3 innings of relief, surrendering just three hits and striking out two. Lockwood allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out two.
The Horned Frogs improve to 7-2 on the season. They will square off against the Shockers Saturday afternoon in game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. Sean Hoeslcher will toe the rubber for the Frogs and face the Shockers' Charlie Lowell.