Chad Huffman Leads Frogs Past DBU, 6-1
Feb. 20, 2004
Fort Worth, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs made it two straight as they picked up a 6-1 victory over the Dallas Baptist Patriots in the Southwest Diamond Classic played at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth on Friday night. Chad Huffman was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in two runs. Eugene Espineli pitched six strong innings, allowing only three hits and striking out eight to move to 1-0 on the season.
The two teams put up zeros for the first two innings before the Frogs finally broke through in the third inning. Kyle Dahlberg single with one-out, but was erased on a fielder's choice off the bat of German Duran., but TCU strung together three straight hits and put two runs on the board. Shelby Ford singled followed by a Chad Huffman infield single to load the bases. Chris Neuman delivered the clutch hit the Frogs were waiting for through, driving a ball to right field, plating Duran and Ford with the go-ahead runs.
Eugene Espineli was dominating on the mound as he mowed through the Patriots lineup, striking out five of the first nine hitters he faced, including a stretch of four in a row. The only hit he allowed through the first five innings was a one-out double to Drew Noss.
TCU continued to pour on the offense with two outs as they tacked on two more in the top of the fifth. Jeff Gilmore got the first two batters out easily but walked Shelby Ford, bringing up Huffman. Huffman continued his dominance of Gilmore, slugging his second home run off of the right-hander over the left field fence, giving the Frogs a four-run cushion.
The Frogs tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to take a 5-0 lead. Sean Stephens walked to lead-off the inning and J.J. Estrada moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt. A two-out hit by Ramon Moses plated Stephens for the Frogs only score of the inning.
Dallas Baptist started a rally in the bottom of the sixth. Noss singled to start the inning and Ben Zobrist drew a one-out walk, putting Espineli in his first jam of the night. Espineli quickly ended the threat as he induced Cody Montgomery to hit into a twin killing to keep the Patriots scoreless.
Chad Huffman continued his perfect night, collecting his third hit of the night in the seventh ending Gilmore's night. The Frogs continued collecting hits with two outs as Estrada connected for a double off of reliever Stuart Sutherland, driving in Huffman for the Frogs sixth run of the night.
Espineli's night came to an end in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Olivo doubled to lead off the inning. Chad Underwood found himself in a jam after an error and a walk loaded the bases. Underwood walked in the Patriots first run of the game, but a nice turn on a double play by Duran kept the damage to a minimum and the Frogs escaped the inning with a 6-1 lead.
The final two innings were not without drama, but the Frogs turned a game-ending double play with two runners on to seal the deal and give Chad Underwood his first save of the season.
TCU improves to 3-4 on the season with the victory. The Frogs return to the diamond on Sunday to wrap up play in the Southwest Diamond Classic. TCU will play the Furman University Paladins beginning at Noon on Saturday.