Clayton Jerome Wins Sixth Straight as Frogs Improve to 4-0 in C-USA Action
March 26, 2004
Houston, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs extended their win streak to eight as they made an unearned run stand up to beat the Cougars 1-0 in the first of a three-game series. Clayton Jerome (6-1) dominated in his sixth straight victory, holding the Cougars to five hits. He struck out eight and walked four, using only 114 pitches in his second complete-game shutout of the year. German Duran extended his hit streak to a season-long 17 games with a single in the third inning and finished the night 2-for-4.
The Horned Frogs and the Cougars found themselves locked in a pitcher's dual for the first five innings as Jerome and Garrett Mock went pitch-for-pitch against each other. Jerome gave up three hits through five, while Mock allowed only two.
The Cougars had the first legitimate threat of the game in the fourth as Brent Cooley walked to lead off the inning. Jerome retired the next two batters on a foul out and a strikeout but gave up a two-out single to Brad Lincoln, putting runners on first and second. Jerome got Patrick Gaylord to fly out to J.J. Estrada in right to end the threat.
The Frogs finally broke through in the sixth, plating the first run of the game. Shelby Ford led off the inning with a sharp single and moved up to second on a fielding error by left fielder Patrick Breen. Chris Neuman hit the ball to the right side to move Ford over to third with two outs. Mock threw a high pitch to Bo Cogbill that went over the catcher's head and Ford scampered home from third to give the Frogs a 1-0 lead.
Jerome once again found himself in a two-out jam as he walked Cooley for the third time, including the second time to lead off an inning. Again, Jerome got two quick outs, but walked Lincoln putting Cooley in scoring position. Jerome picked up his sixth strikeout of the game, when he sent Gaylord back to the dugout, keeping the Frogs in the lead.
Jerome spoiled another Cougar rally in the seventh as once again they had runners on first and second with one out, but Jerome buckled down and got Kevin Roberts to fly out to right and struck out Cooley looking on a 3-2 pitch to preserve the lead. Jerome retired eight in a row to end the game as the Frogs held on to win 1-0.
Mock pitched the Cougars first complete game of the season and took the tough luck loss. He held the Frogs to only four hits in the game, all four of them coming at the top of the order.
The Frogs improve to 16-8 on the season and 4-0 in Conference USA, matching their best start since a 4-0 start in the WAC back in 2001. The Cougars and the Frogs return to the diamond Saturday night as Eugene Espineli and Brad Lincoln will face off in a 7:00 start.