Frogs complete sweep with 11-7 victory
April 19, 2008
PROVO, Utah - The TCU Horned Frogs held off a late charge by the BYU Cougars as they defeated them 11-7 Saturday afternoon to complete their third straight conference sweep. The Horned Frog bats stayed hot as they struck for 11 runs on 18 hits, including 13 combined hits from the first five batters in the lineup. Chris Ellington and Matt Vern each drove in a game-high three runs in the victory. Andrew Cashner tossed two scoreless innings for his fourth save of the season.
The Frog offense picked up where it left off on Friday as they grabbed the early lead in the first inning. Bryan Kervin singled with one out and moved all the way to third on a misplayed ball in right field. Clint Arnold followed with an RBI single. After stealing second, Arnold raced home on a Steve Ellington base hit to right field for a 2-0 lead.
BYU fought back, tying the game in the bottom of the second inning. TCU starter Greg Holle struggled with his control after getting the first out of the inning. Kasey Ko doubled to start the rally and two straight walks loaded the bases. Chad Nacapoy cut the Frog lead in half with a sacrifice fly and Brandon Relf tied the game with a base hit.
The Cougars looked to have a chance to take the lead in the fourth inning as they had two runners on with two outs, but relief pitcher Trent Appleby came on and got Sean McNaughton to pop out to end the inning.
Holle tossed 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked four and struck out one in the no-decision. Appleby (2-1) earned the win in relief. He allowed just one unearned run in 1 1/3 innings of work.
The Horned Frog bats woke up in the top of the fifth. Carruthers broke the 2-2 tie with a line drive solo home run over the left center field fence to lead off the inning. Kervin followed with a single and moved to third on an Arnold double. Chris Ellington grounded out to drive in the second run of the frame. After swiping third, Arnold made it a three-run game, 5-2, scoring on Steve Ellington's second hit of the game.
BYU scored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to make it a two-run contest, but the Frogs again had an answer as they picked up two more in the top of the sixth. Carruthers started things off with a one-out infield single. With two outs, Arnold singled and both runners moved up 90 feet on a Jared Miller wild pitch. Chris Ellington singled straight up the middle to make it a 7-3 contest.
Again, the Cougars would strike for a two out run in the bottom of the inning only to turn around and give it right back in the top of the next inning. Matt Carpenter doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a Hunt Woodruff single to right.
The Cougars made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh, picking up three runs on three hits and an error. Eric Marshall issued a one-out walk to Steve Parker followed by a base hit to Ko. Jonathan Cluff doubled to drive in the first run of the inning. Bryce Ayoso singled home Ko and Cluff made it a one-run game as he scored on an errant pick-off attempt.
With a runner on third and only one out, Paul Gerrish got pinch-hitter J.C. Leach to bounce out and then struck out Relf to end the inning, stranding the tying run at third.
In the eighth inning, the Cougars again saw their chance at knotting the game at eight go by the wayside. McNaughton singled to open the inning, but Cashner retired the next three batters he faced, stranding McNaughton at third.
Vern gave the Frogs some breathing room in the ninth inning with his second home run of the weekend. Carpenter walked to lead-off the frame and Woodruff reached on a one-out error. Vern drove the pitch over the wall in straight away center for a three-run homer to make it an 11-7 game. Cashner worked around a lead-off walk to complete the sweep.
TCU improves to 26-13 overall and 11-4 in league play. The Frogs return to the diamond Monday night as they head to Dallas for the third and final game against Dallas Baptist. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. at Dallas Baptist.