Baseball Squanders Late Lead in 9-6 Loss at Charlotte
May 9, 2003
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 9, 2003) - TCU rallied from deficits of 2-1 and 4-2 to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night versus Charlotte, only to squander the advantage and fall to the 49ers 9-6 at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.
TCU (31-19, 18-7) used the longball to climb back into the game, as Chris Neuman (Fort Worth, Texas/Western Hills), Jared Lundeen (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Burnsville, Minn.) and Chris Meeks (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood) all homered to lead the Frogs to the late advantage.
Charlotte (20-23, 10-12 C-USA) also utilized the round-tripper as they launched four bombs in the win. Three of those homers came off TCU starter Clayton Jerome (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet), which matched as many longballs as the Horned Frog ace allowed in his previous 13 starts combined.
In all, Jerome allowed six hits and four runs over seven innings of work. Despite the shaky outing for the C-USA Pitcher of the Year candidate, he was in line for his 10th win of the year after Meeks' homer in the seventh game TCU its first lead of the game at 5-4 and Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana) brought in an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth.
However, the 49ers reached the TCU bullpen for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to squash any Horned Frog hopes for a comeback victory of their own. The fatal blow came in the form of left fielder Adam Willard's second home run of the game, a three-run blast that broke a 6-6 tie.
Ryan Weems (Roswell, N.M./Goddard) was charged with the loss after allowing two hits and a walk without retiring a batter in the eighth. Charlotte starter Zachary Treadway tossed eight innings to up his record to 7-4 while Mark Ferguson pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the season.
The Horned Frogs fell a half-game out of first place in Conference USA, pending Southern Miss' contest with South Florida Friday evening in Hattiesburg, Miss.
TCU will look to start its second-straight comeback from a series-opening loss when it meets Charlotte for game two of their three-game set Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT (Noon CDT) at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.