Frogs win squeaker, top Baylor 3-2 in NCAA opener
June 1, 2007
HOUSTON, Texas - With the bases full of Baylor Bears and a full count, Sam Demel got Ben Booker to strike out to end the game as the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs hung on for 3-2 win over Baylor. The win propels the Frogs through to tomorrow night's winner's bracket game. A two-run seventh inning proved to be the difference thanks to home runs from Andrew Walker and Bryan Kervin.
"With Sam (Demel) out there pitching and this guy (Walker) catching him, and I don't want that to get lost..., I knew he would make the pitches he needed to make," said Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle. "I was hoping he'd do it sooner, but Sam has been there all year for us."
As expected, the game was a pitcher's dual between TCU's Jake Arrieta and Baylor's Jeff Mandel (7-8). Neither team was able to put together much of a threat and when they did, both pitchers worked their way out of the jams.
Baylor threatened first in the second with two runners on and two out, but Arrieta was able to strike out Shaver Hansen to end the inning and strand the base runners.
TCU struck first on the scoreboard with a manufactured run in the fourth. Steven Trout reached on wild pitch after striking out. A Mandel balk, his first of the season, moved Trout to second. Keith Conlon flew out to deep center allowing Trout to tag up and move to third. Austin Adams drove the ball to deep left center for a sacrifice fly, giving the Frogs the 1-0 lead.
That's where things would stay as neither team could muster much offense. Arrieta worked around lead off walks in the fourth and fifth inning. Mandel had to work around an error in the fifth and a lead-off single in the sixth to keep the game at 1-0 TCU.
The Bears final got something going in the seventh inning following a lead-off walk to Beamer Weems. The Frogs went to their bullpen and called on Sam Demel (7-1). He allowed a base hit to put runners on first and third with no outs. A fielder's choice off the bat of Dustin Dickerson tied the game at one. Following a base hit by Tim Jackson, Demel struck out Hansen and got Paul Miles to line out to end the threat.
With one swing of the bat, Walker put the Frogs back on top as he delivered with his career-high 12th home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
"It was a fastball that was kind of down the middle," said Walker. "I missed that same fastball about three times throughout the day, so I finally got in and executed."
Mandel settled in and got Matt Vern to fly out, but made a mistake to Kervin, who deposited the ball over the right center field fence to make it a 3-1 ball game.
Demel worked a perfect eighth, but gave up a solo home run to Weems leading off the ninth inning. A walk to Matt Czimskey put the tying run on base. Demel got Dickerson to fly out, before issuing a one-out single to pinch-hitter Matt Sodolak. First-pitch swinging, Hansen lined out to center to put the Bears down to their final out. Paul Miles worked a walk to load the bases, setting up Booker's at-bat.
"Going into the at-bat, I was pretty out of gas and for me, when I run out of gas, the best pitch for me is the change-up," said Demel. "I figured if he (Booker) was going to beat me, it was going to be against my best pitch at the time, and we just went at him with all change-ups."
Booker worked the count full and swung through a 3-2 offering to end the game.
The Frogs improve to 47-12 on the season. They will face the No. 1 seeded Rice Owls Saturday night at 6 p.m.