TCU Evens Series With 5-4 Win Saturday
March 24, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Brett Johnson broke a 4-4 tied with an RBI single in the ninth to help the TCU Horned Frogs to 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon. Johnson had a career day at the plate with three hits, two stolen bases and two RBIs.
Andrew Mitchell was touched for four runs on five hits in three innings of work. He struck out four and walked two. Nick Frey was solid in middle relief, giving up just four hits, walking one and striking out one in four innings of work. Justin Scharf pitched a perfect eighth inning with three ground balls to earn the win. Kevin Allen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts for his first save of the season.
A rough outing for Bobby Mares proved to be just what the Frogs needed to push across a run in the ninth inning. Kyle Von Tungeln struck out, but the ball got past the Lobo catcher and Von Tungeln raced down the line on the wild pitch. A balk moved Von Tungeln to second and another wild pitch had him standing on third with just one out. Johnson dropped down a perfect bunt to give TCU the 5-4 lead. Allen came on in the bottom of the inning and set the side down in order to lock up the win for TCU.
The Frogs had gotten off to a 2-0 lead in the first as Austin House struggled to find the strike zone. Von Tungeln worked a one out walk and Jason Coats executed a perfect hit-and-run to move Von Tungeln to third. After Coats stole second, Josh Elander hit a ground ball to third allowing Von Tungeln to score and moved Coats to third. House unleashed a wild pitch that plated Coats for the 2-0 lead.
The Frogs added to their lead in the second as they manufactured a run. Derek Odell walked to lead off the frame and promptly stole second. A passed ball had Odell standing on third and Keaton Jones executed a safety squeeze to make it a 3-0 contest.
With one swing of the bat, the Lobos climbed back into the game. Ryan Padilla led off the third with a base hit and scored on a long home run by Mitchell Garver to make it a 3-2 contest. Erik Suarez followed with a double, but Mitchell got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to end the inning.
TCU got a run back in the top of the third as it took advantage of a hit batter. Coats was plunked with one out and moved to second with two outs. Johnson delivered with a two-out, two-strike base hit up the middle to drive in Coats for a 4-2 lead.
Lots of base runners in the fourth saw the Lobos tie the game at four. New Mexico loaded the bases with one out and Alex Allbritton pulled the Lobos within one with a single to left. Frey got a big strikeout for the second out, but gave up a two-out single to Kyle Stiner to allow the tying run to score. Both teams offense went dormant in the middle innings setting up the Frogs ninth-inning score.
TCU improves to 12-8 on the season and 4-1 in conference play. The rubber match of the series is slated for Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CST). Brandon Finnegan will take the mound and face the Lobos' Rudy Jaramillo in a battle of left-handed pitchers.
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