Brown Earns 500th Victory As TCU Tops Houston 5-2
March 29, 2003
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU head coach Lance Brown reached the 500-career win plateau as his Horned Frogs topped Houston 5-2 Saturday evening at Lupton Stadium and Williams-Reilly Field. With the victory, TCU (18-12, 6-2 C-USA) claimed sole possession of second place in Conference USA, a game behind league-leading Southern Miss.
Defending C-USA Pitcher of the Week Clayton Jerome (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) came just one out short of his fourth complete game of the season in leading the Frogs to the triumph. The junior allowed just seven hits and two runs (one earned) over the 8.2-inning effort. He struck out eight Houston batters and threw a season-high 138 pitches while upping his team-best record to 5-1.
The TCU offense gave Jerome all the support he would need by plating four runs with two outs in the sixth inning. Trailing 1-0 with runners on first and second and two men out, third baseman Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day) got the Horned Frog rally started with a two-run double to left center field.
After a Chris Meeks (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood) walk, catcher Justin Hatcher (Fort Worth, Texas/Brewer) roped a single into right field, scoring Settle to stretch the TCU advantage to 3-1. Meeks closed out the scoring by coming home on a wild pitch, giving the Frogs a 4-1 lead.
Houston (13-14, 5-3 C-USA) made it interesting by reaching Jerome for a run on three hits and a TCU error in the top of the ninth. The right-hander was lifted with two outs and bases loaded for freshman Zach Duncan (Marshall, Texas/Marshall). It took Duncan just three pitches to induce a weak grounder back to the mound and pick up his first career save.
The win was not only Brown's 500th in 17 seasons at the helm of the Frogs, but also TCU's first over Houston since April 21, 1996 when both schools were members of the Southwest Conference. The Horned Frogs had dropped four-straight to the Cougars.
"It is special to reach 500 wins," Brown said. "But, our focus has been on playing a very good Houston squad and staying within striking distance of first place in C-USA, so the milestone is something that hasn't really sunk in and probably won't for a while."
TCU and Houston will play the rubber game of their three-game series Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.