TCU completes sweep of UNLV with 3-2 victory
April 16, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs completed the sweep of UNLV on Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium, topping UNLV 3-2. The Frogs broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning on a Chad Huffman RBI groundout and Sam Demel shut down the Rebel offense the rest of the way to earn his fifth win of the season. The win is the Frogs seventh straight in Mountain West Conference play.
TCU's Zach Ashwood and Matt Luca were locked in a pitcher's dual through the first two innings of the game. Ashwood stranded two baserunners, one each in the first and second innings, while Luca battled through a tough second inning, stranding two runners in the bottom of the second.
A Ryan Pack lead-off double in the third inning led to the game's first run. Bryan Kervin laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Pack to third. After a walk to Steven Trout, Luca unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Trout to move to second, eliminating the chance for a traditional double play. Huffman grounded out to the shortstop to drive in Pack, giving TCU the 1-0 lead.
Chad Miller tied the game in the top of the fourth with his eighth home run of the season. Ashwood retired the first two batters of the inning on two ground balls to Matt Carpenter at third before Miller's blast.
The tie would not hold as the Frogs once again played small ball in the bottom of the inning. Keith Conlon walked to open the frame and moved to second on an Andrew Walker sacrifice bunt. Corey Steglich laced a ball to left field and Conlon raced around third, beating the play at home to give the Frogs the 2-1 lead.
Once again the Rebels battled back to tie the game at two. Mike Cruz doubled to open the fifth inning and moved to third on a Albert Zerega sacrifice bunt. Zach Borba tripled to deep center, driving in the tying run. Sam Demel came on and stranded Borba at third, striking out Kowalski and getting C.J. Lang to fly out to center field for the final out of the inning.
Kervin led off the bottom of the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a Trout sacrifice. After another Luca wild pitch moved Kervin to third, setting up Huffman's RBI groundout. Ryan Tabor came on to record the final out of the inning.
Neither team mounted a serious rally the rest of the way. Demel pitched 4.2 innings, allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out five for the win. Tabor was equally as effective, surrendering a single hit in the eighth inning to Huffman, which extended his hit streak to 22 games.
The Frogs improve to 22-16 overall and 9-1 in MWC action. They will hit the road for seven straight contests on Wednesday when they travel to Provo, Utah for a three-game series against BYU. Thursday's series opener is slated for an 8 p.m. (CST) first pitch.