TCU Drops Heartbreaker In New Mexico
March 23, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico Lobos snatched the series opener from TCU with a two-run ninth inning to win 9-8. Jason Coats had given the Horned Frogs an 8-7 lead in the top of the ninth. He finished the night 4-for-5 with five RBIs.
Stefan Crichton was tagged for four runs on five hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Preston Morrison allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits. He struck out three. Trey Teakell allowed a hit in his lone inning of work. Kaleb Merck (1-1) was tagged with the loss as he gave up two runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter.
In a wild game, the ninth inning proved to be the wildest. Trailing 7-5, the Horned Frogs rallied with three runs to take an 8-7 lead. Brett Johnson led off the inning with a pinch-hit double and scored on a double by Kyle Von Tungeln to pull the Frogs within one, 7-6. Coats completed the comeback with his third home run of the season.
New Mexico immediately put the pressure on in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off single. Merck hit the next batter, but made a great defensive play on a bunt attempt to erase the lead runner. Josh Gonzales turned in another great play at second to nip Trey Porras running down the line for out No. 2, but on the play both runners moved up 90 feet. Merck unleashed a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score and Ben Woodchick completed the rally with a walk-off single to right.
The Lobos struck first in the game, batting around in the third and taking a 4-0 lead. Woodchick got the inning started with a single. After a walk to Kyle Stiner and a wild pitch, DJ Peterson lined a single to center field to give the Lobos a 2-0 lead. Josh Melendez followed with a run-scoring double to make it a 3-0 game. Mitchell Garver tripled to drive home Melendez.
Brance Rivera became the first base runner of the game as he battled back from an 0-2 count to walk. Jason Coats stroked a double to deep center field, allowing Rivera to score all the way from first.
TCU completed the rally from four runs down in the top of the fifth as it plated three runs on a pair of two-out hits. Kevin Cron and Rivera each drew walks to put two on with two out. Kyle Von Tungeln lined a single to right to make it 4-2 and promptly stole second. Coats delivered with a two-run single to right to tie the game at four.
The tie wouldn't hold as the Lobos bounced back to pick up a pair of runs on three hits. The Frogs' fourth error of the ballgame was costly as it looked to be a double play ball that would have erased the lead off single by Ryan Padilla. Instead, Padilla scored on a base hit by Erik Suarez to give the Lobos a 5-4 lead. A bases loaded balk by Morrison pushed the lead to two, 6-4.
A two-out rally in the top of the seventh pulled the Frogs within a run, 6-5. Coats bounced his third hit up the middle and raced home on a long double off the bat of Elander.
New Mexico got the run right back in the bottom of the inning. Garver reached on a lead-off bunt single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Pinch hitter Trey Porras bounced a single up the middle to give the Lobos back the two-run lead, 7-5.
TCU falls to 11-8 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. Game two of the series is set for Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. (CST). Andrew Mitchell will face off against the Lobos' Austin House.
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