Eighth Inning Rally By USF Downs Frogs, 4-3
April 16, 2004
Tampa, Fla. - The TCU Horned Frogs dropped the series opener to USF on Friday night at Red McEwen Field in Tampa, Fla. by a score of 4-3. The Frog bullpen surrendered two runs in the bottom of the eighth as the USF Bulls came back to defeat TCU.
The Horned Frogs squandered an excellent chance to jump out the early lead in the first inning. Ramon Moses led off the game with a double to left center but was left stranded on second as USF starter Casey Hudspeth sat the next three hitters down in order.
The Frogs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Shelby Ford led off the inning with a four pitch walk and scored on Chris Neuman's sixth home run of the season. Neuman took the Hudspeth offering and crushed it over the right field fence to give the Frogs the lead.
The Bulls got a run back in the bottom of the inning as they collected three straight two-out hits to pull within one 2-1.
The Frogs got the run back in the sixth as another lead-off walk came back to haunt the Bulls again. Ramon Moses walked to lead off the inning and stole second. Chad Huffman delivered the Frogs third hit and third extra-base hit of the evening as he doubled to left, plating Moses. The Frogs would load the bases but they couldn't push across any more runs as they left the bases loaded in the inning, but the Frogs had a 3-1 lead.
The Bulls got the run back in the bottom of the inning as they took advantage of a lead-off double from Myron Leslie. With one out, Leslie stole second and scored on an errant throw by Moses and after six, TCU held a slim 3-2 lead.
Things turned bad for the Frogs in the bottom of the eighth as the first four Bulls reached base against the TCU bullpen. Tim McGough (1-1) came on at the beginning of the inning and didn't record an out as he gave up three straight hits. Leslie tied the game with a single up the middle ending McGough's night and bringing in Findlay. Findlay gave up a base hit to the first batter he faced, but got a double play ball and a strikeout, but the Bulls led 4-3. TCU went in order in the top of the ninth as they dropped the series opener.
TCU wasted a great outing by starter Eugene Espineli who went seven strong innings for the Frogs, allowing only two runs on seven hits and striking out three.
TCU drops to 20-15 and 7-6 in C-USA action with the loss. The Frogs and the Bulls will square off again in game two on Saturday afternoon at Red McEwen Field. Game time is set for Noon (CST). Clayton Jerome and Kyle Schmidt will get the call to start the game.