Frogs drop Whataburger College Classic opener to No. 8 Rice
March 9, 2007
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The No. 8 Rice Owls halted the TCU Horned Frogs four-game winning streak with a 20-6 victory in the opening game of the Whataburger College Classic. TCU had pulled to within one run in the seventh, but the Owls broke the game open in the bottom of the inning as they score 12 times.
The Frogs jumped out to the early lead in the top of the second. Austin Adams opened the inning with a single through the left side. Matt McGuirk worked his way to a full count and took the 3-2 Chris Kelley offering and deposited it over the right center field fence to give TCU a 2-0 lead.
Rice needed only two at-bats in the second inning to cut the lead in half. Joe Savery led off the inning with a ground ball single through the left side. Diego Seastrunk battled through an eight-pitch at-bat and drove a ball to the gap in right center to plate Savery. TCU starter Jake Arrieta battled back and struck out the final two batters of the inning to strand two runners in the inning.
TCU extended its lead in the third as they picked up two more runs on three hits. With two on and two out, the Owls pulled Kelley in favor of Scott Lonergan, who issued an intentional pass to Matt McGuirk to load the bases. Matt Vern came through with a great at-bat as he worked a bases loaded walk to drive in the Frogs third run. Clint Arnold followed with an infield single to third that drove in Keith Conlon to give TCU a 4-1 lead.
The Owls crept closer in the bottom of the fourth as they put together a two-out rally. Arrieta made quick work of Savery and Seastrunk, but issued a free pass to Danny Lehmann followed by an Aaron Luna base hit. Another walk to pinch-hitter Jared Gayhart loaded the bases for Jordan Dotson, who delivered a two-run single to center. Arrieta induced a fly ball off the bat of Brian Friday to preserve the 4-3 TCU advantage.
Rice completed the comeback in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four times with two outs. Aaron Luna delivered the big blow, a three-run home run to left field to give Rice a 7-4 lead.
Lonergan quieted the Frogs for three innings, but ran out of steam in the top of the seventh. He plunked Ben Carruthers with the first pitch of the inning and served up a single to Bryan Kervin, putting two on with nobody out. Steven Trout delivered a two-run double down the left field line, ending Lonergan's afternoon. Ryne Tacker came on for the Owls and retired the final three battersm stranding the tying run at third base.
The Owls broke the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh as they sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 12 times.
Arrieta (3-2) took the loss for TCU. He allowed six runs on five hits, walked five and struck out eight in the game.
The Frogs fell to 10-5 on the season with the loss. They will take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday afternoon as the Whataburger College Classic continues. Game time is set for 3 p.m.
Matt McGuirk hit a home run for the second consecutive game.