Louisville Knocks Off TCU, 10-6
May 15, 2003
FORT WORTH, Texas - Mark Jurich went 3-for-5 with five RBI, including a grand slam in the fifth inning, to lead Louisville past TCU 10-6 Thursday evening at Lupton Stadium and Williams-Reilly Field.
With the loss, TCU (33-20, 20-8 C-USA) can claim no better than a tie for the Conference USA Championship, as league-leading Southern Miss moved two games ahead of the Horned Frogs with just two games to play when they thumped Houston 19-11 Thursday night.
TCU got on the board first Thursday night as they plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. Defending C-USA Hitter of the Week Jared Lundeen's (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Burnsville, Minn.) two-out, two-run single to center field accounted for the Frogs' scoring in the frame.
After the two squads exchanged runs in the third inning, Louisville (32-19, 14-13 C-USA) took its first lead of the evening on Jurich's two-out grand slam in the fifth. The long ball was his fifth of the season and the sixth allowed by TCU starting pitcher Clayton Jerome (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) in his last three starts. Through his first 12 starts of the campaign, Jerome had allowed only two bombs.
The Frogs tied the contest with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, capped by a two-out double down the left field line by third baseman Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day). The RBI was Settle's team-leading 54th of the season.
However, the Cardinals strung together five-straight hits in the top of the seventh inning to post four runs and take the lead for good at 10-5.
TCU mustered a single run in the bottom of the stanza to close the gap to 10-6, but would get no closer despite putting two runners on base with one out in the ninth.
Jerome, a leading candidate for C-USA Pitcher of the Year, fell to 9-3 on the season despite the fact that just two of the six runs he allowed were earned.
Louisville pitcher Mike Eilers tossed 3.2 innings of two-hit relief to earn the win while Cardinal closer Carlos Fernandez got the Cards out of the jam in the ninth to earn his school-record 11th save of the season.
TCU will look to even the three-game series when the two teams meet again Friday evening at Lupton Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.