Frogs rally for 6-5 victory over BYU
March 22, 2007
PROVO, Utah - The No. 28 TCU Horned Frogs rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the BYU Cougars 6-5 Thursday night in Provo. It was a team-effort that helped the Frogs score six times in the final four innings and a costly Cougar error in the ninth propelled the Frogs to victory. Steven Trout and Clint Arnold each had three hits, while Austin Adams drove in three runs in the game. Cody Dunbar tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first Division I victory.
"This was a great win for our team," said Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle. "BYU has as athletic of a team as there is in the country and Jesse Craig was nothing short of outstanding. I thought if we hung around long enough we could get to him and into their bullpen."
With the game knotted at five in the bottom of the ninth, Cody Dunbar retired the side in order, setting up the exciting finish.
"I'm really proud of Cody," said Schlossnagle. "He has been slowly but surely progressing. If he can perform up to his ability level, it makes our bullpen a heckuva lot better."
In the ninth, the Frogs hustle paid off, resulting in the game-winning run. Trout hit a ball that split the left side of the infield for a single, but was misplayed by the shortstop, allowing him to move to second. On a fly ball to fight field, Trout hustled to third and slid around the tag. Adams hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Trout.
"Trout's slide was the play of the game," said Schlossnagle. "The ball had him beat but he executed a great slide that we work on in fall practice."
The Cougars a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. After fanning Austin Hall to open the inning, Jake Arrieta surrendered a long home run to the lead-off batter Leon Johnson.
BYU struck again in the fourth, pushing across a run on two hits. Kent Walton led off the inning with a double. Stephen Wells dropped in a double to drive home Walton. With the infield in, Arrieta got out of the jam, striking out the final two batters of the inning, bringing his four-inning total to nine.
A two-out two-run home run off the bat of Walton put the Frogs in a four-run hole. Apana Nakayama delivered a two-out double down the right field line. Walton drove the ball down the left field line, barely keeping it fair for the second home run of the night for the Cougars.
The Frogs began to inch back in the sixth. Trout legged out an infield single to open the inning. Adams lined the ball sharply into right field where Collin Fanning attempted to make a diving catch. The ball dropped in safely and bounded to the wall, allowing Adams to race around the bases with his second triple of the season and Trout scored to cut into the BYU lead. Bidding for an extra base hit, Matt Vern was robbed by Wells on the warning track in right center to end the Horned Frog threat.
TCU completed the comeback in the top of the seventh, scoring three times on three hits and three walks. Matt McGuirk got the inning started with a base hit. Arnold followed with a single to center. A one-out walk to Kervin loaded the bases and ended Craig's night.
On in relief, Matt Jensen struggled to find the strike zone, walking Trout on four pitches to drive in McGuirk. Another walk to Conlon plated Arnold, making it a 4-3 ball game. Austin Adams singled to left field, tying the game at four. Attempting to score from second, Trout was gunned down at the plate on a perfect throw from Johnson in left field.
Jake Arrieta went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out 10 batters. Arrieta had a stretch of seven outs recorded via the strikeout. Craig tossed 6 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out nine.
The Cougars fought back to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning. Fanning blooped in a one-out single. A balk and a wild pitch moved Fanning to third. Derek VerHagen issued an intentional walk to Nakayama to set up the double play. Cody Dunbar got a groundball that the Frogs almost turned into a double play, but Walton beat the through and Fanning scored the go-ahead run.
TCU again battled back to tie the game. Fanning turned another single into a triple trying to make a diving catch on a Matt Vern base hit. Arnold's third hit of the night tied the game at five.
Sam Demel nailed the door shut in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
The Frogs improved to 17-7 on the season and 4-0 in league action. The two teams will square off in game two of the series on Friday night. Chance Corgan will take the mound for the Frogs. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. (CST).