TCU falls 5-3 in extra innings
March 26, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth but two UCF runs in the tenth gave the Golden Knights a 5-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium. Sophomore Sam Demel threw eight strong innings for the Frogs, allowing only two unearned runs and striking out seven. Bryan Kervin led the TCU offense with two hits and two RBI's.
After the Frogs tied the game at three in the bottom of the ninth, UCF fought back and scored two in the next inning. Travis Auer opened the inning with a bunt single to third and advanced 90 feet after a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Bono. Auer moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk. Consecutive walks and a balk put two runners in scoring position with only one out. Dave DiNatale punched a single through the left side to plate the second Golden Knight run of the inning. Donald Furrow ended the threat, retiring the two batters he faced.
TCU was able to manufacture a run in the previous frame to push the game into extra innings. Steven Trout led off with a sharply-hit single up the middle that bounced off the pitcher to the second baseman. His errant throw allowed Trout to reach second. Pinch hitter Ryan Pack successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Trout to third and Kervin followed with a single through the right side of the drawn-in infield to knot the score at three
The contest opened with both starting pitchers in control. Neither pitcher allowed a run before UCF cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the fifth inning, scoring a pair of unearned runs. With two runners on and two outs, Auer dropped a fly ball inside the right-field foul line for a two-run triple.
TCU fought back and tied the game, scoring one run in each of the next two innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Bryan Kervin punched one to center to knock in Corey Steglich. After a scoreless top of the sixth, Keith Conlon drove a 2-2 pitch off the wall in left to open the bottom half of the frame. Andrew Walker moved Conlon to third with a sacrifice bunt and he scored two batters later on a ground ball to short.
The Golden Knights took the lead again three innings later before TCU was able to mount its ninth-inning rally to tie the game at three.
Two days after recording his first save of the year, Demel went eight strong innings, allowing only two unearned runs on six hits. He struck out seven and walked two, finishing with a no-decision. Omar Arif suffered his first loss of the year after he gave up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief. He struck out two UCF batters.
The Frogs will return to competition Thursday at 1 p.m. (CST), when they travel to San Diego for the Mountain West Pre-Season Tournament. TCU will square off against conference foe BYU for their first-ever MWC contest. Also on the docket in the tournament are UNLV, San Diego State and Air Force.
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