Frogs Lose Heartbreaker at San Diego State, 4-3
April 24, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision at No. 19 San Diego State Friday night in front of a Tony Gwynn Stadium record 3,072 fans. The Frogs had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth, but couldn't push across the tying run. Bryan Holaday was the hitting star of the night with a three-run home run in the seventh.
The early part of the game belonged to Stephen Strasburg and the Aztecs. The highly-touted junior right-hander was dealing as he fanned 12 batters through six innings. Chris Ellington was the lone Frog to reach safely with a fourth-inning two-out infield single, while Holaday worked a one-out walk in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Aztec offense staked Strasburg to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, taking advantage of three walks and two hits in the frame. Following a lead-off walk to Mitch Blackburn, an errant pick-off throw allowed Blackburn to race to third with nobody out. Jomel Torres worked a walk to put runners on the corners and Easton Gust put the Aztecs in front with a bloop single to right. Pat Colwell worked a one-out walk to load the bases and Brandon Decker came through with the big single up the middle to make a 3-0 game.
In the sixth, the Aztecs tacked on another run to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Ryan O'Sullivan was hit by the Sean Hoelscher offering to open the inning. A walk to Colwell put two on with nobody out. Trent Appleby came on in relief of Hoelscher. Executing a perfect slash play, Decker picked up his third run batted in with a single down the left field line that plated O'Sullivan with the fourth run of the game. Appleby settled in and retired the next three batters to strand two Aztecs.
Hoelscher (2-2) pitched out of numerous jams in his five innings as he stranded eight runners on base in the first four innings, while surrendering just three runs. In total, the sophomore allowed four runs on five hits. He walked seven and struck out four.
In the top of the seventh, momentum swung to the Frogs side as Ellington and Matt Vern stroked back-to-back singles to open the inning. A failed sacrifice attempt erased the lead runner, but Holaday was there to pick up the slack. He launched a 3-1 Strasburg offering over the left-center field wall to make it a 4-3 game.
Andrew Leary replaced Strasburg in the eighth and quickly found himself in a jam. After recording the first out, he surrendered a two-strike hit to Taylor Featherston. Matt Carpenter followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position with only one out. It was not to be though as Leary picked up a huge strike out for the second out of the inning. Following the punch out, Matt Vern was intentionally walked to load the bases.
The nation's save leader, Addison Reed took the mound and lived up to his billing as he got out of the jam with a strikeout, then pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his 14th save of the season.
Appleby pitched well in relief, allowing just two hits in three innings. At one point, the sophomore had retired eight in a row before giving up a two-out hit in the eighth.
The Frogs fall to 25-12 on the season and 6-4 in league play. They will square off against the Aztecs in game two of the series Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. (CST). Kyle Winkler is expected to get the start for the Frogs.