Small ball leads TCU to 7-4 win over Minnesota
March 1, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Down to their last strike in the ninth inning, Clint Arnold came through with a clutch single that tied the game at four where the TCU Horned Frogs eventually came away with a 12-inning, 7-4 victory over Minnesota at the Dairy Queen Classic. Andrew Cashner (1-0) was outstanding in relief as he held the Golden Gopher bats in check for four innings, while racking up nine strikeouts.
Arnold got the ball rolling for the Frogs in the 12th inning, working a four-pitch lead-off walk. He promptly stole second base and moved to third on a Ben Carruthers base hit. Matt Vern broke the 4-4 tie with a sacrifice fly to left field. Minnesota reliever Tyler Oakes continued to struggle with the strike zone as he walked Matt Carpenter to put two on with only one out.
The duo of Carruthers and Carpenter wasted no time executing a double steal to put both runners in scoring position. Bryan Holaday laid down a perfect suicide squeeze. Both runners were breaking on the pitch and scored easily to give the Frogs a three-run lead. Cashner retired the Gophers in order in the bottom of the inning to collect his first TCU victory.
The game was a pitcher's duel through the first three innings with TCU's Seth Garrison and Minnesota's Tom Buske matching each other pitch-for-pitch. The Frogs finally broke through in the top of the fourth inning a Hunt Woodruff RBI double that plated Vern, who had singled and stole second to lead off the inning.
As would be the case over the next two innings, the Gophers responded, matching TCU's run with one of their own. Jon Hummel tripled with two outs to tie the game at one.
TCU regained the lead with two runs in the fifth inning. Aaron Schultz worked a lead-off walk and scored all the way from first on a double from Arnold. With Carruthers at the plate, Arnold took off for third and slid in safely ahead of the tag. He made it a 3-1 game, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Carruthers.
The lead was short lived as another big two-out hit from the Gophers tied the game at three. Jeremy Chlan came through with the two-run single. Another run in the bottom of the fifth gave Minnesota its first lead of the game.
Despite allowing the fifth-inning run, Tyler Lockwood provided the Frogs strong middle inning relief. He tossed three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out two.
With two outs in the ninth inning, the Frogs called on Matt McGuirk to pinch-hit. He came through with a base hit to right field and made a head's up play, recognizing no one was covering second. Hampered by a leg injury, McGuirk hobbled to second and beat the throw to keep the Frogs' hopes alive. Arnold battled to a 2-2 count and laced a single to left center that pinch-runner Eric Givens was able to score on.
Garrison went five innings in his second start of the season allowing three runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out three in the no-decision.
The Frogs (3-2) will square off against their second ranked opponent this season when they face No. 29 Pepperdine at Noon on Saturday. Audio for the game will be internet only due to a radio conflict. Steven Maxwell will get the nod for TCU.