No. 18 TCU comes up short in loss to No. 14 Wichita State
May 30, 2008
STILLWATER, Okla. - Four home runs were not enough for the No. 18 TCU Horned Frogs as they came up short in an 8-5 loss to No. 14 Wichita State in the opener of the NCAA Stillwater Regional. The Frogs four solo shots were trumped by a pair of three-run home runs by the Shockers. Matt Carpenter tallied two of the Frogs home runs in the game, while Matt Vern and Chris Ellington accounted for the other two.
"We tell our pitchers all the time that solo homers don't beat you," said Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle. "Certainly, (Rob) Musgrave did a great job today. They bunched their hits and their home runs together in two big innings that ended up beating us. I'm proud of the way our guys competed, but I thought Musgrave did really, really well. I thought Tyler (Lockwood) was good. He just elevated a couple balls."
TCU starter Tyler Lockwood pitched around a one-out double by Dusty Coleman in the second inning and the Frogs used the momentum to take the early lead in the top of the third.
Six straight Frogs had been retired by Shocker starter Rob Musgrave before Matt Vern delivered a two-strike home run over the left center field fence for the 1-0 lead.
Wichita State, as it would do all game, responded in the bottom of the third, taking its first lead of the contest. Tyler Hill opened the inning with a bloop single to right center field. Trying to bunt the runner over, Kevin Hall was hit by the pitch. Andy Dirks erased the deficit with one swing of the bat as he launched a three-run home run to left field for a 3-1 lead.
"They were sitting on the changeup and when you get behind on the counts, then you have to throw a strike and then they sit on a ball. It's tough to get behind and get guys out," remarked Tyler Lockwood.
The Frogs got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out home run from Carpenter.
"He did a good job keeping us off balance working his changeup and his curve ball," said Carpenter. "He had command of all three pitches. When a pitcher has that, it makes it tough on hitters. We put a lot of balls in the air today and that's really not our game plan. What's gotten us to this point is line drive swings. Give credit to him. He did a good job."
TCU completed the comeback in the third as it pushed across its lone manufactured run. Matt Vern doubled with one out and moved to third on a base knock from Hunt Woodruff. Bryan Kervin tied the game as he bounced into a fielder's choice to score Vern from third in the fifth.
Just like before, the Shockers responded to TCU's momentum with another three-run home run, this time off the bat of Clinton McKeever.
Carpenter came through again in the sixth with his second home run of the game to pull the Frogs back within two, 6-4.
TCU saw a golden opportunity to tie the game in the eighth inning go by the wayside. Kervin singled to open the inning, but was erased on a double play ball off the bat of Ben Carruthers. Steve Ellington kept the inning alive with a base hit, but Clint Arnold's bid for the game-tying home run fell just short on the warning track.
Wichita State doubled up the Frogs in the top of the eighth inning as it plated two big runs to take a commanding 8-4 lead. The Frogs managed another solo home run in the top of the ninth, this one from Chris Ellington, but couldn't get an extended rally going. Musgrave pitched around a two-out error to finish the game.
Lockwood (7-2) was touched four eight runs on 10 hits. He hit two batters and struck out three in the loss.
Musgrave (11-1) went the distance for Wichita State, surrendering five runs on eight hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four.
"He was pretty good," remarked Vern. "He worked the outside corner of the plate pretty consistently today. His changeup looked a lot better today than the first time we faced them. Today, he seemed to have our hitters out front. He didn't really leave it up too much. He had command of that and he had command of the fastball on the outside corner. We just weren't able to make the adjustment and hit the line drives on the ground. We hit too many balls in the air."
The Frogs fall to 43-18 on the season. They will play the loser of the Oklahoma State/Western Kentucky game that will take place later this evening. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. at Allie P. Reynolds Field.