Walker steals victory for Frogs in extra innings
Feb. 13, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - With two outs in the bottom of the 12th, the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs pulled off the improbable come-from-behind victory as Andrew Walker stole home to end the 4 ½ hour marathon. An outstanding performance by the Frog bullpen helped the team rebound from an early five-run deficit to earn the 6-5 extra inning win over Dallas Baptist Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium. They combined to pitch 8.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 13.
Walker led off the 12th inning with a double down the left field line. A Matt Vern sacrifice moved him to third forcing the Patriots to intentionally walk Matt McGuirk to set up the double play. Dallas Baptist got a key out and had a 2-2 count on Matt Carpenter when McGuirk and Walker broke on a double steal attempt. A stunned Ryan Millard for DBU threw the ball in the dirt and Walker wrestled his way around catcher Brandon Bants to score the winning run.
The Patriots had taken control early on in the contest, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first four innings. The Frog defense committed four errors behind Seth Garrsion, leading to four unearned runs. In the no-decision, Garrison pitched 3.2 innings, giving up five runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out four and walked two.
TCU began its comeback in the bottom of the fourth. After two quick outs in the inning, the Frog bats came alive. Keith Conlon unloaded on a Brett Lester offering and deposited it over the center field fence for his first home run of the year to get TCU on the board.
The Frogs inched closer in the sixth inning as they struck for three runs on three hits. Walker started the inning with a base hit up the middle and moved to second on a Matt Vern base knock. Conlon was hit by the pitch to load the bases with one out. Matt Carpenter drove home Walker with an RBI groundout. Steven Trout delivered the big hit with a single to center that brought home two runs and after six, the Frogs trailed 5-4.
Donald Furrow came on in relief in the fourth and shut the door on the Patriots. He twirled four scoreless innings, allowed just one hit, struck out five and walked three. He left with the bases loaded and Cody Dunbar got a ground ball that Ben Carruthers made a diving stop on, saving two runs. Dunbar pitched 1.2 innings and picked up two strikeouts.
TCU completed the comeback in the bottom of the eighth as it pushed across a run on two hits. Conlon drove a one-out single up the middle and stole second. A Carpenter base hit through the right side scored Conlon to knot the game at five. The Frogs looked poised to take the lead as Carpenter swiped second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher, but a failed suicide squeeze erased the threat. An uneventful ninth inning propelled the game to extra innings.
A golden opportunity for TCU to win the game in the 11th went by the wayside. The Patriots' Victor Black walked Conlon to lead off the inning. Another stolen base and errant throw moved Conlon to third with no outs. Carpenter drew a walk and Black issued a intentional walk to Trout to load the bases with no outs. Black bore down and retired the next three batters he faced to end the inning.
Sam Demel (1-1) worked around a base runner in the top of the 12th, setting up the exciting finish in the bottom of the inning. In all, Demel went 2.2 innings, walked one and struck out six to earn the victory.
TCU improves to 3-1 on the season with the victory. The Frogs four-game home stand continues this weekend as they host Oral Roberts in a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Jake Arrieta will get the start for the Frogs.