TCU falls to No. 1 Rice, 8-1
March 10, 2006
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs faced a stiff test in the opening game of the Whataburger Classic in Corpus Christi on Friday afternoon as they squared off against the No. 1 Rice Owls. Rice used a four-run first inning to propel itself to the 8-1 win. Steven Trout was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with his first home run in a TCU uniform.
The Frogs threatened to push across a run in the top of the first as they had two runners on. Chad Huffman dropped in a one-out base hit and Andrew Walker drew a two-out walk, but Rice ace, Eddie Degerman (4-0), got Matt Carpenter to fly out ending the Frog threat.
Ten Rice batters came up to the plate in the first inning, taking advantage of a shaky start by Frogs' starter, Jake Arrieta. Back-to-back doubles by Greg Buchanan and Joe Savery gave Rice the 1-0 lead. Jordan Dodson drove in Savery and two bases-loaded walks put the Owls up 4-0.
Arrieta settled in after the first and held the Owls in check over the next four innings. He retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced. A one-out triple off the bat of Tyler Henley went by the wayside as Trout made a nice play on a ground ball, throwing Henley out at the plate.
After two outs to open the seventh inning, Trout smoked a pitch over the left field wall to cut the Rice lead to three at 4-1. A walk to Corey Steglich ended Degerman's day, but Owl reliever Bryce Cox came and shut the Frogs down. He pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowing just one base hit. He hit a batter and walked a batter, while mixing in four strikeouts.
The Owls scored four times over their final two at-bats to put the game out of reach.
Arrieta went five innings and gave up four runs on six hits as he suffered his first loss of the 2006 campaign. He struck out two and walked two. Donald Furrow surrendered three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of work. He struck out one and walked one. Chase Perry and Taylor Cragin pitched the final 1.2 innings for TCU.
The loss is the third straight for the Frogs as their record evens up at 8-8 on the season. TCU will play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in its second game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. Sam Demel is slated to start for TCU and will face the Islanders' Will Norman.