Frog Bats Come To Life In 12-2 Victory
March 19, 2011
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Trailing 2-0 in the fifth inning, the TCU Horned Frogs found their offensive stroke and rallied for the 12-2 victory over UNLV Saturday night to even the series. Five Frogs tallied two or more hits, led by a three-hit night by Brance Rivera. The Frog pitching staff fanned 17 and didn't issue a walk.
Matt Purke (3-1) threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing a pair of unearned runs on seven hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out a season-high 11 batters. Andrew Mitchell retired all five batters he faced in 1 2/3 innings of work. He fanned three. Kyle Starratt struck out one and retired the side in order in his lone inning of work. Teddy Nowell was perfect in his one inning of work with two strikeouts.
An error to open the bottom of the first inning proved costly as the Rebels pushed across a pair of two-out unearned runs. Brandon Bayardi started a string of four straight two out hits. Trent Cook drove in the first run with a bouncer up the middle and Richie Jiminez bounced the ball over Jantzen Witte's head to give UNLV a 2-0 lead.
After the excitement of the Rebels' first inning, Purke settled into a rhythm and never allowed more than four batters to come to the plate in an inning. He tallied at least one strike out in each inning. The bullpen retired all 11 batters they faced.
The Frogs finally found their bats in the fifth inning as they struck for four two-out runs. Jerome Pena led off the inning with a double and was still standing there with two outs. Joe Weik lined a single to center allowing Pena to race home with the Frogs' first run of the game. Brance Rivera dumped a double into right field. Cash Thomas overran the ball, allowing Weik to come home with the tying run. Aaron Schultz unloaded on Joe Robinson's next offering and deposited it over the left field fence to give the Frogs a 4-2 lead.
TCU tacked on two runs in the sixth inning, taking advantage of two UNLV miscues. Pena picked up a one-out single and moved all the way to third on a wild pitch. Josh Elander bounced a single through the drawn-in infield to make it a 5-2 game. Back-to-back errors produced the Frogs' second run of the inning. Elander scored on an error by the shortstop to give the Frogs a 6-2 lead.
The runs kept coming in the seventh as TCU pushed across three more on four hits to open up a 9-2 cushion. Schultz dumped a single into left field to lead off the inning and scored on a one-out triple off the bat of Jason Coats. Witte followed with a double to the right field gap. He promptly stole third and raced home on the errant throw to cap the scoring in the inning.
Three more runs crossed the plate in the eighth inning. The big blow was a two-run blast off the bat of Rivera. Taylor Featherston doubled off the wall in center and came around to score on Witte's second double of the game to round out the offensive outburst for the Frogs..
TCU improves to 11-7 on the season and 1-1 in league play. Steven Maxwell will take the mound for the Frogs Sunday morning in the series finale. He will face the Rebels' Tyler Iodence. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m.