Baseball Tops No. 20 East Carolina For Second-Straight Day, 8-4
March 23, 2002
GREENVILLE, N.C. - TCU designated hitter Chris Meeks (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood/Eastfield J.C.), playing for the first time since dislocating the middle finger on his left hand versus USC on March 8, went 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead the Horned Frogs past No. 20 East Carolina 8-4 Saturday afternoon at ECU's Harrington Field. The victory was TCU's second straight over the Pirates and upped the Frogs' record versus nationally ranked opponents to 5-1 for the season.
The Horned Frogs opened the scoring in the top of the first when Jake Duncan (Marshall, Texas/Marshall/U. of Texas) drilled an RBI triple into the gap in right center field to give the Frogs an early 1-0 lead.
TCU (11-14, 3-2 Conference USA) added two more runs in the second on a bases loaded walk by Levi Robinson (Anchorage, Alaska/Robert Service/Canada C.C.) and an RBI single from Meeks, who missed seven games due to the finger injury.
East Carolina (14-5-1, 1-3-1 C-USA) cut into the deficit in the bottom of the third on a towering home run to right field by Ryan Jones. The homer was the first of the weekend by either team and lowered the Frogs' advantage to 3-1.
The Horned Frogs upped the lead to three again the very next inning on an RBI double from left fielder Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior/Creighton).
However, ECU answered in the fifth on Jamie Paige's first-career home run, a three-run job to right field, tying the game at 4-4 and chasing TCU starting pitcher Patrick Newburn (Grapevine, Texas/Grapevine/NE Texas C.C.). Newburn allowed seven hits and four runs in 4.1 innings of work and drew his fourth no decision in five starts this season.
Meeks struck again in the top of the sixth with his fourth hit of the afternoon, an RBI double to the gap in left center to reclaim a 5-4 lead for the Frogs. One batter later, Trofholz roped a single into left, scoring Meeks and stretching TCU's advantage to 6-4.
The Frogs put the icing on the cake in the top of the ninth, taking an 8-4 lead on a monstrous two-run home run to right center field by first baseman Walter Olmstead (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur).
Junior left-hander Ryan Weems (Roswell, N.M./Goddard/New Mexico State) was spectacular in relief of Newburn, picking up his first-career win. The southpaw pitched 4.2 scoreless, hitless innings, striking out a career-best three and walking just one.
TCU will go for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Pirates in the finale of the three-game conference set. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. (CST) at Harrington Field.