TCU advances to the championship game with 8-7 win over BYU
May 25, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The top-seeded TCU Horned Frogs (45-12) needed two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to survive an upset bid by the second-seeded BYU Cougars (36-19) Friday afternoon in the Mountain West Baseball Championship. TCU won the see-saw affair by an 8-7 margin on an Andrew Walker two-run single. Tyler Lockwood tossed three scoreless innings to keep the Frogs in the game as they rebounded from a 7-5 deficit. Clint Arnold finished the contest 4-for-4 with a run scored.
BYU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI-double by Steve Parker. Kent Walton opened the inning with a walk issued by TCU starter Chris Johnson and scored on Parker's double.
TCU waited an inning before taking its first lead of the game with two runs in the bottom of the third. The Horned Frogs got four hits in the inning to take the one-run lead. Bryan Kervin led off the inning with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a triple to center by Keith Conlon. Austin Adams followed with a single of his own to plate Conlon.
The Cougars tied the game at 2-2 with a run in the fourth. Walton opened the inning with a single to center and came around to score on a single by Kasey Ko.
The Frogs opened the game up with three runs in the fifth off of three hits and three Cougar errors. Conlon led off with a single and took third on a stolen base and an error. Andrew Walker stepped up and broke the 2-2 tie with a double and then took third on an error by BYU's Stephen Wells in center. Clint Arnold followed with a single to short that plated Walker. Matt Vern then reached on an errant throw by BYU pitcher Jesse Craig and took to second base, while Arnold scored all the way from first when the ball sailed into foul territory.
BYU regained the momentum with five runs in the sixth on four hits and one error. Apana Nakayama and Walton reached on a fielding error and a walk, respectively. With two runners on, TCU brought Donald Furrow in to the game to relief pitch. Parker took Furrow's offering to left for a single to load the bases. Ko delivered a two-run single to left. With two runners on base, Leon Johnson hit a bunt single to load the bases, once again. Lockwood was summoned from the bullpen for TCU and surrendered a two-run single to Austin Hall. Wells plated the final run of the rally on a fielder's choice grounder to open up a 7-5 Cougar lead.
TCU cut the two-run deficit in half with a single run in the sixth on a ground out by Adams. Conlon nailed a triple to left with one out to get on base in front of Adams
- Trailing by one, in the eighth, TCU got a two-run single to left by Walker. J.D. Stambaugh pitched himself into a jam by giving up a single, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Michael Ward replaced Stambaugh on the mound and got a strike out before offering up Walker's game-winning hit.
In the top of the ninth, BYU tried to rally for the tying run as they got an inning-opening double by Wells off of Sam Demel, who has just entered the game in relief. Wells advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was left stranded there when the next two batters struck out and line out to end the game.
Lockwood improved to 5-2 on the year with 3.0 innings of relief work. He allowed no runs on two hits, while striking out three.
Demel notched his 13th save of the season in one inning of work.
Stambaugh falls to 0-1 with the loss. He pitched only two-thirds of an inning and gave up two runs on one hit. He walked on and struck out one.
TCU will face the winner of the BYU vs. UNLV game tomorrow at 3 p.m. and go for its fourth straight conference tournament championship. The Frogs will send Chance Corgan to the mound.