TCU Routs Charlotte, 18-6
May 11, 2003
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Second baseman Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana) and right fielder Jake Duncan (Marshall, Texas/Marshall) each went 3-for-5 with a single, double, home run and five RBI to lead TCU to an 18-6 rout of Charlotte Sunday afternoon at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.
With the victory, TCU (33-19, 20-7 C-USA) took the weekend series from Charlotte (20-25, 10-14 C-USA) two games to one and moved within a half-game of first place Southern Miss in the Conference USA standings, pending the result of Sunday's contest between Golden Eagles and South Florida.
Like they did when they scored six runs in the first inning of Saturday's 20-15 win over Charlotte, the Horned Frogs jumped out of the gates quickly Sunday by scoring five in the top of the first inning to grab an early 5-0 lead. The big hit of the inning came in the form of a two-run, two-out double to the gap in left center field by Lewis, which extended his TCU season-high hitting streak to 14 games.
After the 49ers got on the board with a single run in the bottom of the first, TCU stretched the advantage to 7-1 in a two-run home run to right center field from Duncan.
The Frogs benefited from a Charlotte miscue to add another run in the top of the third. With two away in the stanza, 49er catcher Randall Poplin threw a pickoff attempt into left field, allowing Shaff Elkouri (Norman, Okla./Asher) to score easily from third and put TCU ahead 8-1.
TCU catcher Justin Hatcher (Fort Worth, Texas/Brewer) returned the favor in the bottom of the third as a passed ball on a strikeout allowed Charlotte's Adam Willard to score all the way from second base. The 49ers went on to score another run in the frame to cut the deficit to 8-3.
However, the Charlotte rally was short-lived as the Frogs posted four runs in the fifth and six more in the seventh to put the game away. Lewis and Meeks each homered to lead the outburst, which cut the game to just seven innings as Conference USA's Sunday ten-run rule was enacted.
TCU batted around the order three times on Sunday, making it six times in the past 16 innings that the Horned Frogs have sent at least nine men to the plate in a single stanza.
Robbie Findlay (Toronto, Ontario/Michael Power) set a new career-high for the second-straight week as the right-hander struck out eight 49ers in six innings of work to up his season record to 5-1.
The Frogs roughed up Charlotte starter Matt Savage for eight runs in 2.2 innings to drop Savage to 4-5 on the campaign.
TCU will continue its fight for its first conference title since 1994 when it closes the regular season next weekend at home versus Louisville. Game one of the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening at Lupton Stadium and Williams-Reilly Field.
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