Frogs clinch MWC regular season title, pound Lobos 15-2
May 18, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The TCU Horned Frogs clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title Thursday afternoon with a 15-2 win over New Mexico. Most importantly for TCU is a first-round bye in the upcoming MWC postseason tournament. For TCU, it is the first regular season title since winning the Southwest Conference title in 1994. Hunt Woodruff hit his first career home run in the sixth inning. Eight Frogs recorded a hit and six drove in a run. Keith Conlon and Chad Huffman led the way with four RBIs.
The Frogs broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning as they sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven times. Corey Steglich extended his hit streak to 11 games with a lead-off single. New Mexico starter, Jesse Perez retired Ryan Pack, five straight Frogs reached base. Bryan Kervin singled and Steven Trout was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Huffman. He delivered a two-run opposite field single to get the Frogs on the board. An Austin Adams single drove home Trout to make it 3-0. Matt Carpenter singled to load the bases again and Conlon delivered a two-out two-run single to give TCU the 5-0 lead. Steglich rounded out the scoring, clearing the bases with a double.
Another big inning by the Frogs extended their lead to 11-0. Kervin drew a lead off walk and moved to second on a Trout sacrifice. Huffman drew a one-out four-pitch walk and Adams recorded his third hit of the game to load the bases. Carpenter drove home two with a single to center, ending Perez's day. With two outs, Conlon drove in two more runs with a double to left center.
The Lobos got two quick outs to open the fifth inning, but Trout ruined any chance at a perfect inning with a triple off the wall in right center field. Huffman hit his 14th home run of the season over the left field fence to give the Frogs a 13-0 lead.
Hunt Woodruff made it a 14-0 contest with the first home run of his career to lead off the sixth inning. The Frogs picked up an unearned run in the top of the ninth to account for the final score.
New Mexico broke up the shut out with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. With two outs in the inning, Chris Carlson was plunked by a Sam Demel pitch and Ian Hollick followed with a long fly ball that just got over the right field fence to make it a 14-2 contest. Two more base hits followed, but Demel buckled down and struck out Drew McDonald to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta improved to 12-4 on the season with another dominating performance. The righty extended his scoreless innings streak to 18 with six shut out innings. He allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out three. He threw just 59 pitches, facing just one batter over the minimum. Demel earned his fifth save of the season with three innings pitched. He struck out four and allowed two runs on six hits.
With the victory, the Frogs improve to 33-21 overall and 15-5 in Mountain West play. They return to the diamond on Friday afternoon at Isotopes Park. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. (CST). Brad Furnish will take the mound for TCU and face New Mexico's Danny Ray Herrera.