Frogs' offense stymied in 5-2 loss in series finale
April 30, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Horned Frogs rally late in the game fell short in the series finale with the San Diego State Aztecs as they fell, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Paul Smyth's two-home run, three-RBI game was all the Aztecs needed to hand the Frogs their first MWC series loss this season. A night after earning his fourth save of the season, Sam Demel (5-4) gave a gutsy effort as he went 7.1 innings, allowing just four runs on five hits. Chad Huffman hit his fifth home run of the week in the loss.
The Aztecs got on the board first on a long solo home run off the bat of Paul Smyth, giving San Diego State a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.
TCU's first threat of the game went by the wayside as San Diego State starter Bruce Billings worked around an error and a base hit. Andrew Walker reached when the second baseman dropped a fly ball and Austin Adams followed with a base hit through the left side. Billings stranded the runners, striking out the final three batters of the inning.
Brock Ungricht extend the Aztec lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Jordan Swaydan led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second on a sacrifice by Quintin Berry. After Lance Zawadski was hit by a pitch, Smyth hit a fly ball that both runners advanced 90 feet on and Ungricht's bloop single drove in both runs.
The Frogs finally broke through for their first run of the ballgame in the sixth inning. Matt Carpenter got the one-out rally started with a single to left center field. Walker picked up a check-swing single to right center, moving Carpenter to third where he scored on a base hit by Austin Adams. Billings settled in and retired the final two batters of the inning to keep it a 3-1 San Diego State lead.
Chad Huffman pulled the Frogs closer in the top of the eighth inning. To lead off the inning, Huffman drove his third home run of the series over the fence in straight away center field to make it a one-run game, 3-2. Carpenter followed with an opposite field double, but was left stranded at second as Billings again worked out of the jam.
Smyth's second home run of the game put the game out of reach of the Frogs. Berry drew a one-out walked and scored on the home run to make it a 5-2 San Diego State lead.
The Frogs had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth, but were unable to push across any runs. Corey Steglich singled to open the inning and after two outs, Steven Trout worked a walk and Huffman was intentionally walked to load the bases for Carpenter, who grounded out to end the game.
For the Aztecs, Billings stifled the Frogs offense, limiting TCU to just two runs on seven hits. He struck out 12 batters in eight innings of work and walked just one batter. Adam Simon worked a scoreless inning of relief for the Aztecs.
With the loss, the Frogs fall to 26-19 overall and 12-4 in Mountain West Conference play. They will return home for a season-long eight-game home stand beginning Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium. The Frogs welcome Dallas Baptist to Lupton Stadium for a 7 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday.