Tiger's Defense Implodes, Frogs Win C-USA Opener 11-5
March 19, 2004
Fort Worth, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs (13-8) took advantage of eight Memphis (10-5) errors to open up Conference USA action with an 11-5 victory. Clayton Jerome picked up his fifth straight victory and moved into fourth place on the all-time career strikeout lists to move ahead of Kerry Knox. Jerome now has 261 career K's. The Frogs stole a season-high seven bases in the win.
Memphis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on two hits and a misplayed bunt, but Jerome shut them down, stranding a runner on third base. TCU would tie the game in the bottom of the inning. German Duran walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. Shelby Ford delivered a sharp single to right to plate the go-ahead run and advanced to second on right-fielder Jordan Hart's first error of the game. Chris Neuman made the error hurt as he delivered a single to tie the game a two.
TCU finally grabbed their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on two hits and another Memphis error. Chad Huffman was hit for the 11th time this season to lead off the inning. Neuman followed it up with a triple, giving the Frogs a 3-2 lead. Bo Cogbill drove in Neuman with a double. Ramon Moses stole his first bag of the night and watched catcher Kurt Welch's throw sail into center, allowing Cogbill to score from third. Two more runs crossed in the fourth inning as TCU built their lead to 7-2.
Memphis tried to pull closer as they scratched across two runs in the top of the fifth, but Jerome induced a double play off the bat of Michael Lewis to keep the Frogs in the lead 7-4.
In the fifth, the Tiger defense fell apart as they committed five errors which led to three runs by the Horned Frogs. Moses walked to lead off the inning and promptly stole second. Hart dropped a fly ball off the bat of Stephens, then threw it away on the infield, allowing Moses to score. The Tigers committed three straight errors following the second out before the inning finally came to a close.
Both teams put up zeros the rest of the way. Andrew Allar pitched the final three innings for the Frogs, earning his first save as a Horned Frog. Allar allowed a run on four hits, striking out two and walking none.
For Memphis, Jarrett Grube suffered his first loss of the season, allowing seven runs, six earned in just 3.1 innings of work.
The two teams return to the diamond on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. Eugene Espineli will get the call for the Frogs and face the Tiger's Derek Hankins.