Baseball Takes 1-0 Thriller Over UAB
April 11, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Left fielder Chris Meeks (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood) threw out the would-be tying run at home plate to end the game and preserve TCU's 1-0 victory over UAB Friday evening at Jerry D. Young Memorial Field. Meeks' heroics moved TCU (21-15, 8-5 Conference USA) a game-and-a-half ahead of UAB (21-11, 6-6 C-USA) in the league standings.
With UAB's Drew Connell on second and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, pinch hitter Mitch Jones ripped a single into left field. Attempting to tie the game on the play, Connell rounded third as Meeks fielded the ball in left. Meeks came up throwing and the toss was cut off by third baseman Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day), who relayed home. Settle's relay beat Connell by two steps and catcher Justin Hatcher (Fort Worth, Texas/Brewer) applied the tag to end the ballgame.
TCU was only in position to win the game thanks to the outstanding performance of starting pitcher Clayton Jerome (Fort Worth, Texas/Brewer). Jerome tallied a career high in strikeouts for the second-straight game, as he fanned 13 Blazers in the victory. The right-hander allowed just four hits and one walk in eight innings of work to stretch his consecutive scoreless-innings streak to 17.
Jerome upped his personal record to 7-1 on the season, while TCU moved to 9-1 in games started by the junior. His 13 Ks topped the 12 he whiffed in last weekend's 8-0 victory at Memphis.
Jerome was tangled in the pitchers' duel with UAB starter Lucas Trotter. The senior transfer from New Orleans gave up just six hits and a walk in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out seven, but fell to 3-1 on the season with the hard-luck loss.
TCU managed the only run of the ballgame without the benefit of a base hit in the first inning. Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) led off the contest by being hit by a pitch. He stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Meeks and scored on Settle's RBI groundout to second.
Ryan Weems (Roswell, N.M./Goddard) pitched the ninth for TCU to record his second save of the season and earned him part of his first shutout of the season. The Horned Frogs' last three triumphs have all been shutouts, as they whitewashed Southwest Texas on April 1 and blanked Memphis last Saturday by identical 8-0 scores.
The win was also TCU head coach Lance Brown's 200th conference victory of his career. Brown has collected those wins in three different leagues over 17 seasons at the helm of the Horned Frogs.
The two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Young Memorial Field. Sunday's series finale has been changed from a 1 p.m. to noon start time.