Horned Frogs hold on for 6-4 win in series opener
April 21, 2006
PROVO, Utah - Sam Demel got Ben Saylor to line into an game-ending double play as the TCU Horned Frogs held on to defeat BYU, 6-4, in the series opener at Larry H. Mill Park in Provo. Andrew Walker hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, which proved to be the deciding runs in the contest. Walker finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Jake Arrieta earned his ninth win of the season.
The Cougars got the scoring started in the first inning, connecting for three straight singles after a quick out to open the inning. Marcos Villezcas singled to start the rally and scored on a Jeff Heistand base hit. Villezcas was originally called out on the play at home, but after BYU head coach Vance Law came out to argue, the umpires talked it over and Villezcas was ruled safe giving BYU the early 1-0 lead. Arrieta settled down and got Kasey Ko to ground into an inning ending double play.
TCU wasted no time responding as they scored four times on two hits. Keith Conlon started the rally with a slow roller down the first base line that he beat out. Two consecutive walks loaded the bases and a wild pitch by Woolf tied the game. With one out, Ryan Pack drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases. Bryan Kervin hit a seeing-eye single through the right side that scored Walker and Steven Trout was plunked to push across the third run of the inning. Chad Huffman, whose 22 game hit streak came to an end, drove a sacrifice fly to center field to round out the scoring.
Arrieta settled in and retired seven straight before Saylor opened the fourth with a base hit. After a walk to Heistand, the Frogs retired Saylor on good play by Arrieta, who erased Saylor on a failed sacrifice attempt. The Frogs retired the next batter and looked to be out of the jam without giving up a run on a fly ball to left center. Unfortunately for the Frogs, Conlon, Pack and the ball all arrived at the same spot at the same time and they collided allowing the ball to fall in safely for a two-run scoring double. Conlon left the game with an injury.
Both pitchers worked around some jams in the middle innings before the Frogs broke through in the seventh. Matt Carpenter laced a one-out single up the middle and stole second with two outs. Walker delivered with an opposite field home run on a 2-2 count that put the Frogs up 6-3.
The Cougars looked like they were going to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Casey Nelson led off the inning with a double and moved to third on an infield single off the bat of Seth Johnson. After a wild pitch erased the chance of a double play, Arrieta got Villezcas to strike out. Saylor drove the 1-0 offering from Arrieta to the deepest part of the ballpark as Pack made the catch against the wall in straightaway center field to end the inning.
A Heistand home run to open the bottom of the eighth was as close as the Cougars would get as Demel came in and shut down any BYU rally. He stranded a runner at third with a shallow fly ball and a ground ball. The first two batters of the ninth reached base, but another failed sacrifice attempt by the Cougars erased the lead runner before the game-ending double play.
Arrieta (9-3) went 7.1 innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits. He struck out three and walked one. Demel pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn his third save of the season.
The Frogs improve to 23-16 overall and 10-1 in conference play. Game two of the series is slated for an 8 p.m. (CST) start Friday night at Larry H. Miller Park. Brad Furnish will take the mound for the Frogs and face the Cougars' Jesse Craig.
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