Frogs hold on for 6-4 victory over Utes
May 5, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The No. 23 TCU Horned Frogs built a 6-0 lead and held on for the 6-4 victory over Utah Saturday afternoon. The teams waited out a 1:50 minute rain delay to finish the game. The Frogs were led at the plate by Austin Adams' three hits, while Hunt Woodruff tallied three RBIs. Chris Johnson earned his ninth win of the season.
A four-run first inning proved to be the difference in the ballgame.. With two on and two outs, Utah third baseman Erich Kemp couldn't get a handle on a ball hit by Clint Arnold and the bases were loaded with two outs. The Frogs made the error hurt as Matt Vern battled his way to an RBI walk, driving in Bryan Kervin with the first run of the game. Hunt Woodruff followed with a bases-clearing double that made it a 4-0 TCU lead.
Two more two-out runs crossed the plate for the Frogs in the second inning as they extended their lead to 6-0. Ben Carruthers led off the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on a Kervin sacrifice. Andrew Walker hit a line drive single to right that plated Carruthers. The ball scooted by the right fielder and Walker ended up on third on the two base error. Austin Adams came through with a double to the gap in left center for his first hit of the game.
The Utah pitching staff settled in and threw zeroes up on the board the rest of the way. After the second inning, the Frogs mustered just four hits the rest of the way.
Utah used the momentum and finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, picking up two runs on just one hit. With one out, John Welsh was hit by the Chris Johnson offering. Bret Baldwin drove a ball to the gap in right center for a triple that gave Utah its first run of the game. Baldwin scored on ground ball to the right side off the bat of Cody Guymon to make it a 6-2 ballgame.
The Utes continued their march to get back in the game as they plated two more runs in the fifth inning helped along by one Horned Frog error. Nate Burnham hit a one-out single and scored on a Corey Shimada double. With two outs, the inning appeared to be over but Carruthers had trouble fielding a chopper off the bat of Dustin Hennis to make it a 6-4 ballgame.
Chris Johnson (9-2) had been on the mound the entire way for TCU prior to the rain delay. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings of work. He struck out four batters and walked two, but did tally his fifth pick off of the season.
Out of the rain delay, the Utes had chances in all three of the remaining innings to push across the tying runs, but each time, the Frog pitchers were able to work out of the jams.
Tyler Lockwood gave up lead-off singles in both of the innings he started. In the seventh, he picked off Burnham trying to steal second to erase the lead-off hitter. Shimada followed with a base hit, but Lockwood retired the final two batters of the inning to strand the runner at second.
Again in the eighth the Utes got the lead-off batter on, but Lockwood and Sam Demel combined to retire the next two batters and strand the runner at third.
Demel gave up two two-out hits in the ninth before nailing down the victory, getting Hennis to ground out to end the game.
For Demel it was his 10th save of the season. He went 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Lockwood gave up three hits in his 1 1/3 innings pitched.
The Frogs improve to 36-11 on the season and 17-2 in Mountain West Conference play. They will go for the series sweep on Sunday. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Franklin Covey Field. TCU will send Chance Corgan to the mound with the opportunity to sew up the regular season championship with a victory.
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