Baseball Wins Conference Opener 8-6 Over Southern Miss
March 15, 2002
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU scored in five of the first six innings and overcame three home runs from Southern Miss third baseman Allen Winningham to notch an 8-6 win over the Golden Eagles Friday afternoon at TCU Diamond. The game marked the conference opener for both squads and TCU's first-ever Conference USA matchup.
Winningham opened the game's scoring, sneaking a solo home run just inside the left field foul pole in the first inning to give USM an early 1-0 advantage.
TCU's Walter Olmstead (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur) answered in the bottom of the frame with a two-run single through the left side, giving the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead after one inning.
The Frogs tacked on another run in the second, thanks to a Jake Duncan (Marshall, Texas/Marshall/U. of Texas) single to left, scoring Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana/Seminole J.C.) from third base.
After Winningham tied the game in the top of the third with his second homer of the contest, TCU responded with two more runs in the bottom of the stanza. A two-run double off the wall in left center field from Shaff Elkouri (Norman, Okla./Asher/Seminole J.C.) accounted for the Horned Frog runs and gave TCU a 5-3 lead.
The Frogs scored for the fourth-consecutive inning in the fourth on an RBI single off the bat of Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior/Creighton).
Southern Miss cut its deficit to 6-4 with a solo homer from Carlos Velasquez in the top of the fifth and then held the Frogs to their first scoreless stanza in the bottom half of the inning.
A pair of USM miscues turned into the Frogs' final two runs in the sixth inning. First, after TCU put runners on first and second to chase Southern Miss starter Shea Douglas, his replacement, Bob McCrory balked, scoring Duncan from third. After Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day) advanced to third on a groundout, the Eagles' first baseman misplayed a Walter Olmstead grounder, allowing Settle to score and putting the Frogs ahead for good, 8-4.
Southern Miss made it interesting, though, putting two more runs on the board in the seventh on Winningham's third homer of the game. The senior became just the sixth player in Southern Miss history to blast three dingers in one contest.
Trailing 8-6 in the top of the ninth, the Eagles loaded the bases with only one out, but TCU reliever Kyle Shoemaker (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe/Seminole J.C.) slammed the door, recording the final two outs to seal the Frogs' victory and record his first career save.
Horned Frog starter Clayton Jerome (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) earned the victory to up his record to 2-2, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings of work. Douglas was tagged with his first loss of the season for Southern Miss.
The teams continue their three-game series tomorrow afternoon at TCU Diamond. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.