Ninth-Inning Loss Completes Baseball Sweep at the Hands of Tulane
April 21, 2002
NEW ORLEANS, La. - TCU baseball rallied from a two-run ninth-inning deficit to tie the game in the top of the inning, but Tulane answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-3 decision from the Horned Frogs Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium. The TCU loss completed its three-game sweep at the hands of Tulane, as the Horned Frogs fell to 20-21 overall and 11-7 in Conference USA.
The Frogs entered the wacky ninth inning trailing 3-1 and having collected three hits off Tulane starter Beau Richardson. TCU right fielder Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior/Creighton) opened the frame with his third hit of the game, a perfectly-placed bunt single. Two outs later, with runners now on first and third, center fielder Marshall Wilson (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) beat out an infield single, scoring Trofholz and bringing the Frogs within a run at 3-2.
With runners on first and second, Horned Frog second baseman Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana/Seminole J.C.) hit a drive to left field, out of reach of Tulane's Bryan Stelmack and off the wall. Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day) scored easily from second as Lewis cruised into second, but Wilson was nailed at home on a well-executed relay throw from Stelmack to second baseman James Jurries to catcher Brian Bormaster, leaving the score knotted at 3-3.
In the bottom of the frame, Tulane (24-18, 10-8 C-USA) center fielder Jon Kaplan responded with a double off the center field wall to open the stanza. Kaplan advanced to third on a wild pitch by Horned Frog reliever Ryan Weems (Roswell, N.M./Goddard/New Mexico St.). Weems followed by getting the next batter to pop out, before intentionally walking the next two batters.
However, Weems was not able to refind the strike zone as he walked Tulane's Anthony Giarratano to bring in the winning run.
Weems pitched 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks to pick up his second loss of the season. Richardson, who sported an 8-1 record on Tulane's 2001 College World Series team, earned his first win since Feb. 15 to up his record to 2-3.
The game did not begin nearly as chaotically as it ended, as both Richardson and TCU starter Patrick Newburn (Grapevine, Texas/Grapevine/Northeast Texas C.C.) were effective.
Tulane struck first in the bottom of the third inning, plating a single run to take a 1-0 lead. Green Wave first baseman Michael Aubrey drove in Jurries, who was hit by a pitch with two outs and advanced to third on a stolen base and passed ball, to account for the tally.
TCU first baseman Walter Olmstead (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur) led off the fifth inning by drilling his team-leading eighth home run of the season well over the left center field wall, tying the game at 1-1.
However, Jurries answered with a leadoff dinger of his own in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead for the Green Wave, 2-1. The blast was Jurries' fourth of the weekend and ninth RBI in the three-game set with the Frogs.
Despite not figuring in the decision, Newburn held the high-powered Green Wave offense to seven hits and two runs over six innings before giving way to Weems.
As has been the case much of the season, Trofholz led the Horned Frogs' offensive effort, collecting three of the Frogs' seven hits on the day. With the 3-for-3 effort, the junior extended his TCU season-long hitting streak to 14 games and has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games overall. He also raised his league-leading batting average to a sizzling .477, which is on pace to eclipse both the TCU school record of .465, set by Mike Ramsey in 1985, and the C-USA mark of .427 set by Houston's Geofrey Tomlinson in 1997.
TCU will look to end its season-long four-game losing skid when it hosts Texas-Arlington Tuesday afternoon at TCU Diamond. The contest, which is a makeup of the squads' postponed match-up from March 3, is set for 3:05 p.m.