Baseball Outlasts Cincinnati, 8-4
May 10, 2002
FORT WORTH, Texas - Spurred by a career high-tying three hits and two RBI off the bat of Levi Robinson (Anchorage, Alaska/Robert Service/Canada C.C.), including two doubles, a home run and three runs scored, TCU fought off Cincinnati to capture a 8-4 win Friday afternoon at TCU Diamond. The victory was TCU's fourth-straight and moved the Horned Frogs (26-24, 17-8 C-USA) into a temporary virtual tie atop the Conference USA standings with Houston and Southern Miss, both of whom play Friday night.
Robinson got the Frogs going in the first inning, belting the first of his two doubles to right center field to lead off the bottom of the frame. Four batters later, with runners on second and third, designated hitter Shaff Elkouri (Norman, Okla./Asher/Seminole J.C.) gave TCU a 2-0 lead with a two-run double to right center field.
Cincinnati (23-25-1, 9-15-1 C-USA) answered in its next at-bat when designated hitter Joe List poked an opposite field two-run homer over the left field wall to tie the game at 2-2.
Another Robinson double sparked the next TCU rally, as the shortstop doubled to lead off the Horned Frog third inning and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior/Creighton), putting the Frogs back on top at 3-2.
After the Frogs plated a single run in the fifth, Robinson put the game away in the bottom of the seventh, drilling his fourth homer of the year to left field, upping TCU's advantage to 6-2.
The Bearcats made things interesting in the top of the eighth when left fielder Jake Smith hit UC's second two-run bomb of the game, chasing TCU starter Clayton Jerome (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) and bringing Cincinnati within two at 6-4.
In all, Jerome was very effective, allowing his only runs on the two two-run dingers. He allowed just seven hits in 7.1 innings to move to 9-3 overall on the season and, even more impressively, a C-USA leading 8-1 in conference games.
The Horned Frogs iced the win in the bottom of the eighth when they plated two runs on three hits to account for the final 8-4 tally. The three Frogs besides Robinson who enjoyed multi-hit afternoons - Trofholz, Walter Olmstead (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur) and Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana/Seminole J.C.) - all contributed to the victory-sealing outburst.
Trofholz opened the stanza with a triple down the left field line, his fourth three-bagger of the season. Olmstead drove him in a batter later with a double off the left field wall and Lewis closed out the scoring with an RBI single to right center.
Trofholz's 2-for-3 performance lifted his batting average to .467, which is on pace to break the school and conference single-season records. Additionally, he raised his season hit total to 86 to move into fourth on TCU's single-season hit list.
TCU will look to clinch the series victory Saturday afternoon when they play the second of three games versus Cincinnati. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m. at TCU Diamond.