Carruthers delivers as Frogs rally to top San Diego State, 6-5
April 27, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - Ben Carruthers 10th inning single completed a great comeback as the TCU Horned Frogs defeated San Diego State 6-5 Friday night a Lupton Stadium. Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the eight, the Frogs scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. Carruthers finished the night 2-for-4 with both of his hits coming in the last two innings to spur the Frog rally.
"I'm really proud of our guys," raved Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle. "To have a special season, sometimes you have to win games in this fashion."
For the second straight night, the Horned Frogs found themselves trailing late in the game. After giving up a run in the top of the eighth to fall behind 5-2, the Frogs found their magic. Steven Trout singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a walk to Andrew Walker. The Aztecs made a call to their bullpen for closer Stephen Strasburg (1-2). He looked every bit the stopper, fanning the first two batters he faced before Clint Arnold laced a single to right to make it a 5-3 contest.
The rally was completed in the bottom of the ninth as the Frogs scored two times on just one hit. Pinch-hitter Hunt Woodruff took a ball off the arm to open the inning. Carruthers drilled the ball to left field for his fourth double of the season, breaking a 0-for-10 slump, to put runners on second and third. With Bryan Kervin at the plate, Strasburg uncorked a wild pitch to make it a one-run game as Woodruff raced home from third. He settled down and worked his way to two outs, but a passed ball by catcher Frank LoNigro allowed the tying run to score.
In the top of the tenth, TCU's own closer Sam Demel (5-1) sat the Aztecs down in order setting up Carruthers 10th inning heroics. He fanned two batters around a groundout in his lone inning of work.
Clint Arnold was plunked for the second time in the game to lead off the inning, ending Strasburg's evening. On in relief, Aaron Brady walked Matt McGuirk to put two on with nobody out. A failed attempt at a sacrifice bunt erased Arnold at third, but Carruthers delivered with a one-out single through the left side to plate McGuirk with the winning run.
"Baseball is a funny game," said Schlossnagle. "We did a lot of things wrong tonight and San Diego State did a lot right, but we competed and found a way to grind out a win."
The Aztecs took the lead in the first inning on a Nick Romero double. However, TCU would knot the game in the bottom of the frame on a Matt Vern double. Attempting to score from first to give the Frogs the lead, Austin Adams was cut down at the plate to keep it a tie ballgame.
Vern gave the Frogs their first lead of the night with a one-out home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
However, San Diego State swung the momentum to its side, scoring two times in the top of the fifth. An RBI single from Joe Spiers tied the game at two and LoNigro put the Aztecs in front with a one out single.
Brandon Glover extended the Aztec lead to 4-2 in the seventh with a two-out RBI double and Troy Hanzawa singled in a run in the eighth to make it 5-2.
Despite two errors on the night, the TCU defense was huge in the game as Walker gunned down two runners attempting to steal and picked off a runner at first in the eighth to complete an inning-ending double play. In addition, Tyler Lockwood picked off a runner in the seventh inning.
In the no-decision, Jake Arrieta went 4 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on nine hits, struck out three and walked two. Lockwood tossed 2 2/3 innings, surrendering a run on three hits and striking out three. Taylor Cragin pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out three and walked three.
The Frogs (32-10, 13-2) and the Aztecs (27-19, 11-5) will square off in game two of a three-game series Saturday afternoon. Chris Johnson will toe the rubber for the Frogs and face SDSU's Steven Hirschfeld. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Lupton Stadium. The game will be aired live on The mtn.