TCU Holds On For 4-3 Win Over Utah
May 10, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas - The No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on for the 4-3 victory over Utah to earn the series victory Sunday afternoon. Kyle Winkler tallied his fourth win of the season and Eric Marshall locked down his seventh save to help guide the Frogs to victory. Aaron Schultz led the TCU offense with two hits.
After letting a golden opportunity to take an early lead slide in the first inning, the Frogs busted out for three runs in the second inning. Jason Coats got the rally started with a one-walk. Jimmie Pharr followed with a base hit to put two runners on. Aaron Schultz bounced a base hit through the middle of the field to plate Coats with the first run of the game. Heads up base running got Schultz to second as he raced around first on a throw to the plate. Corey Steglich dropped down a squeeze bunt to drive in another run and was safe on an errant throw that allowed Schultz to score from second for a 3-0 lead.
Bryan Holaday got the Frogs a huge insurance run in the third inning as he singled with two outs to drive in Chris Ellington, who reached on a one-out single. The Utes looked like they would get out of the inning without allowing a run as Matt Vern hit a hard ground ball to second. The fielder couldn't get Ellington at second and recorded just one out to keep the inning going for Holaday's base hit.
Utah's bats came to life in the fifth. Austin Jones doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a sacrifice. With one out and runners on the corners, Gavin Green put the Utes on the board with a sacrifice bunt. Winkler got Corey Shimada to ground out to end the inning.
Another lead-off double in the sixth turned into another Utah run as the Utes cut the deficit to 4-2. C.J. Cron provided the sacrifice fly that drove in Michael Beltran.
The Utes kept creeping closer as they picked up another run in the seventh inning to make it a one-run ballgame. Cooper Blanc singled to open the inning, ending a good outing from Winkler (4-0). Tyler Lockwood came on in relief and quickly got a strikeout, but back-to-back singles from Green and Shimada pushed across the Ute run. Lockwood fanned Beltran and got Nick Kuroczko to ground out, ending the inning.
The Horned Frogs couldn't muster much of an offensive threat in the late innings as they never sent more than four batters to the plate after the third inning.
Utah threatened to tie the game in the eighth as they had two on with only one out, but Lockwood induced an inning-ending double play ball off the bat of Blanc to preserve the 4-3 TCU lead.
Eric Marshall came on in the ninth and quickly retired the first two batters before issuing a walk to Shimada. A nice defensive play by Holaday behind the plate on a ball chopped high in the air ended the game as he tagged out Beltran for the final out.
Winkler pitched a solid six innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked only one and fanned five. Lockwood tossed two scoreless frames, allowing just three hits and striking out two. Marshall's scoreless ninth inning secured his seventh save of the season.
TCU improves to 31-14 on the season and 12-5 in league play. The Frogs will begin a four-game road trip on Monday night to close out the regular season. They will head to Dallas for their final non-conference game of the season as they wrap up a home-and-home series against Dallas Baptist. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.