Frogs explode late, earn 10th straight victory
May 17, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The No. 24 TCU Horned Frogs exploded for a 10-run seventh inning as they ran away with a 13-4 victory, completing the sweep of New Mexico. The win makes it 10 straight for the Frogs to close out the regular season. Chris Ellington tallied four hits in the game, while Matt Vern was the run producer with a big three-run triple in the decisive seventh inning.
Back-to-back walks with one out in the first led to a Lobo lead. Brian Cavazos-Galvez gave New Mexico the lead with a single to center. TCU starter Greg Holle worked out of the mess getting Kevin Atkinson to ground into the inning-ending double play, keeping it a 1-0 contest.
Twice the Frogs wasted opportunities to score run and twice the Lobos used it to their advantage. In the seconbd, the Lobos used the momentum to tack on another run. Chad Itokazu picked up a one-out double and came around to score on a hit from Scott Gracey to make it a 2-0 game.
New Mexico added to its lead with another two-out run in the third inning. A one-out walk came led to the Lobos third run of the contest. After a Kevin Atkinson base hit put runners on the corners, the Lobos executed a double steal to make it 3-0.
Through the first four innings, the Lobos had held the Frogs in check as they stranded nine men on base. They were finally able to break through in the seventh, sending 14 men to the plate.
After giving up another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Horned Frog bats finally came through in the top of the seventh as they exploded for 10 runs to take a 10-4 lead. Carruthers was hit by the pitch to open the inning and Steve Ellington followed with a base hit. After an Arnold sacrifice moved the runners up 90 feet, Chris Ellington got the Frogs on the board with an infield single. Matt Carpenter cut the lead in half with an RBI single. After Bryan Holaday drew a walk to load the bases, the Lobos went to the bullpen for Adam Skelton.
Matt Vern greeted him with a triple to deep center that gave TCU the 5-4 lead. A perfectly executed suicide squeeze made it 6-4. The Frogs reloaded the bases ending Skelton's afternoon. Ryan Escarcega uncorked a wild pitch and Clint Arnold cleared the bases with a two-run single to make it a 9-4 contest. He later scored on a double from Chris Ellington.
Greg Holle pitched five innings in the no-decision. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits, walked three and struck out four.
TCU tacked on another run in the top of the eighth inning as it extended its lead to 11-4. Holaday was hit by the pitch to open the inning and he raced to third on a double to right center off the bat of Vern. Woodruff again got the job done as he grounded out to drive in his second run of the contest.
After surrendering a run in his first inning of work, reliever Seth Garrison (1-3) settled in and held the Lobos in check to earn his first victory of the season. He gave up one run on five hits in three innings of work with one strikeout. Derek VerHagen retired the first two batters of the ninth inning, while Dillon Farish got the final out to seal the Horned Frog victory.
Holaday extended the Frog lead to nine with a two-out two run double that plated Chris Ellington and Carpenter.
TCU closes out the regular season with a 39-16 record and a 19-5 mark in league play. The Frogs were an impressive 17-1 in their final 18 conference games and 25-4 in their final 29 regular season contests. TCU will open up play in the Mountain West Conference Postseason Tournament Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.
For the first time in school history, the Horned Frogs will host the tournament. The first two games are slated for Tuesday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. at Lupton Stadium.