Shelby Ford Lifts Frogs Past the Red Raiders, 6-4
Feb. 27, 2004
Lubbock, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs baseball team came from behind to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Friday afternoon at Dan Law Field as the Frogs took game one of the series, 6-4. The Frogs used a four-run ninth inning to pick up their fifth victory of the season. The big blow to the Raiders came off the bat of Shelby Ford as he launched a three-run shot to give the Frogs a 5-4 advantage. This is the first win for the Frogs in Lubbock since March 28, 2000.
Pinch hitter Austin Adams came up huge to lead off the ninth as he took the Tanner McElroy pitch and drove it to center, bringing up the tying run in the person of German Duran. Duran smoked a double to right center, putting runners on second and third, setting up Ford's home run. Ford drove the ball into the wind and got it out for his second career home run and giving the Frogs their first lead since the third inning, chasing McElroy from the game. Chad Huffman and Chris Neuman belted doubles off of relief pitcher Adam Fry to push the lead to 6-4.
Robbie Findlay came on to save the game for the Frogs. After retiring the first two hitters he faced, Ford committed the Frogs fourth error of the game as he threw the ball in the dirt on what would've been the final out of the game. Findlay hit Jose Delgado on the shoulder to put the tying runs on. Delgado and Cameron Blair executed a double steal so all the Raiders needed was a base hit, but Findlay put an end to the game by striking out Josh Brady and earning his first save of the season.
TCU got the scoring started early as they tagged Texas Tech starter Steven Thomas for two runs in the second. Chris Neuman led off the inning with a single to right and scored on a Bo Cogbill base hit. With two outs, Nate Thomas slashed a bunt to the third base side, scoring Cogbill from third for the second run of the inning and TCU led 2-0 after two.
Tech cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third and then took the lead in the fourth after two costly errors by Duran led to two unearned runs and the Red Raiders had the 4-2 lead.
The Frogs squandered golden opportunities in two of the next four innings leaving they tying runs on base in the sixth and the eighth. The Frogs loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Tech pitcher Thomas induced Nate Thomas to hit into the double play, ending the threat. TCU once again had a chance to tie the game in the eighth as they had runners on second and third with one out, but McElroy, in relief, struck out two straight batters.
Chad Underwood came on in relief of Eugene Espineli in the seventh, who pitched six innings for the Frogs allowing only four runs, two earned on seven hits while striking out two and walking one. Underwood did his job, keeping the Raiders scoreless in his two innings of work, setting up the ninth-inning comeback for the Frogs and earning his first win of the season.
The Frogs (5-5) series with Tech continues on Saturday as game two is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. Clayton Jerome will get the call to pitch game two and will face Juan Razo of Texas Tech.