Frogs blank Air Force in Mountain West Conference opener
March 16, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - The No. 28 TCU Horned Frogs pitched a shutout in their Mountain West Conference opener as they topped Air Force 6-0 Friday night at Lupton Stadium. Jake Arrieta (4-2) twirled eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 11. Offensively, the Frogs were led by Keith Conlon and Austin Adams who drove in two runs apiece.
The Frogs staked themselves to a 2-0 advantage in the first inning. Bryan Kervin led off the frame with a double to right field. Conlon's fifth home run of the season just cleared the fence in left center to give the Frogs a lead they would never relinquish.
Air Force battled back in the top of the second with a one-out triple off the bat of Chay Derbigny. Arrieta buckled down and fanned Daniel Walker before getting Ben Ausbun to ground out to Ben Carruthers at second base to end the threat.
Following the triple, Arrieta retired the next 10 batters he faced before issuing a walk with two outs in the fifth inning. In that span, he racked up five of his season-high 11 strikeouts.
TCU extended its lead in the top of the third inning. Steven Trout collected a one-out double and moved to third on a single by Conlon. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Adams made it a 3-0 contest.
The Falcons put together another rally in the top of the seventh, threatening to crack the scoreboard. Walker picked up a one-out singled and Ausbun reached on an error to put two on with one out. Arrieta again was able to work out of the jam, inducing a double play ball off the bat of Josh Meents to end the inning.
The Frogs carried the momentum into the bottom half of the inning as they struck for two runs on two hits. Trout again started the ball rolling with a one-out single. Conlon worked a walk and Adams came through with a base hit to plate Trout. Bidding for his second hit of the game, Andrew Walker was robbed on a great play by the shortstop with the bases loaded. Geno Salazar was able to get the out at second base, but Conlon came home to score, making it a 5-0 game.
An unearned run in the bottom of the eighth accounted for TCU's six runs. Carruthers beat out an infield single and swiped second to move into scoring position. An errant pick off throw by the pitcher allowed Carruthers to take third where he scored on a Kervin sacrifice fly.
TCU needed another good defensive inning in the top of the ninth to preserve the shutout. With two on and nobody out, Carruthers made a diving stop on a ball up the middle and flipped to Kervin to get the out at second. Kervin made a great turn at second, nipping the speedy Walker at first base to complete the double play. Taylor Cragin got Meents to line out to Clint Arnold in left field to end the game.
The Frogs improve to 13-6 overall and 1-0 in MWC play. They will send Chance Corgan to the mound for game two of the series on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.