Offensive surge carries Frogs to victory over UNLV
April 14, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - After jumping out to an early lead, the TCU Horned Frogs held on for a 16-12 victory over the UNLV Rebels Saturday afternoon. TCU pounded out a season-high 20 hits in the victory, led by four hits each by Bryan Kervin, Steven Trout and Andrew Walker. Clint Arnold was the top run producer with two home runs and six RBIs.
TCU put up four runs with two outs in the first, taking advantage of a wild start from Craig Heyer. The Frogs loaded the bases without the benefit of putting the ball in play and Andrew Walker cleared them with a double to left field. Arnold followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0 Frogs.
UNLV answered, tying the game on just two hits. The first three batters reached in front of Efren Navarro, Jr.'s bases loaded double to center. A groundout from Ryan Kowalski knotted the game at four.
Again, the Rebels looked poised to answer the Frogs two runs as the first two batters reached via the walk. With one out, Blake Gailen popped the ball into shallow left where it fell safely. Both runners, though, had to hold to see if the ball would be caught. An alert play by Steven Ellington led to the double play as they forced the runner at third and then threw to second to complete the inning-ending double play.
Three more runs crossed the plate in the third. With one out, TCU strung together five straight hits and scored three times to open up a 9-4 lead. Following a Walker single, Arnold unloaded with his first home run of the game. Ellington singled, moved to third on a base hit from Carruthers and scored on a Kervin single.
After UNLV picked up a run in the bottom of the third, the Frogs again responded with a big inning, plating five runs on five hits. Four runs scored before the Rebels recorded an out. Walker doubled home Adams and scored on a three-run shot from Arnold. After two outs, Kervin and Trout teamed to push across one more run. Kervin singled for the third time and scored on a Trout double.
UNLV made a game of it as they struck for seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The big inning came in the seventh as the Rebels pushed across five runs before recording an out. Keith Smith led off the inning with a home run and the next six batters reached base. Xavier Scruggs doubled home two runs and two more came home on a Willie Bowman single. With two on and nobody out, Sam Demel came on and retired the final three batters he faced to end the threat.
The Rebel bullpen had held the Frogs in check for three innings, but TCU broke through for two runs in the eighth to extend its lead out to 16-11. Ellington worked a walk and moved to second on a Carruthers base hit. An alert base running play by Ellington got him to third, where he scored on a Kervin base hit. Steven Trout singled with two outs to drive in Kervin.
The first two batters reached for UNLV in the bottom of the eighth, but Demel got the double play ball he needed as the Frogs traded the run for two outs. The double play was the fourth turned by the Frogs in the game, matching a school record.
Demel closed out the game to earn his sixth save of the season. He allowed a run on three hits in three innings of work. He didn't walk a batter and struck out three in preserving the victory for Chris Johnson.
Johnson improved to 7-2 on the season with six strong innings. He allowed six runs (three earned) on eighth hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Frogs improve to 26-9 on the season and 9-1 in conference play. They will go for the series sweep on Sunday when Chance Corgan takes the mound for TCU. The game time has been changed to a 1 p.m. (CST) start.