TCU's rally falls inches short in 9-8 loss
May 19, 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas - The New Mexico Lobos jumped out to an early big lead and held off No. 20 TCU's rally to claim a 9-8 victory in the series finale. Trailing by two heading into the ninth, the Frogs picked up one run and looked like they might have won it, but Matt Vern's bid for the game-winning home run was caught at the base of the wall for the final out of the game. Vern did tie a school-record with three doubles in the contest.
The Lobos batted around in the first inning, scoring four times on just three hits helped along by three walks. Matt Hibbitts singled in the game's first run and Ian Hollick made it 2-0 with a ground out. Adam Courcha delivered the big blow with a two-run double to make it 4-0.
New Mexico would tack on two more runs to its lead in the second on a Jay Russell base hit. Taylor Cragin came on in relief and got the Frogs out of the inning with no further damage.
Cragin found himself in a bases loaded jam in the top of the fourth inning as New Mexico looked poised to add to their lead. Following an intentional walk to Ian Hollick, Cragin froze Russell at the plate for out No. two and got Courcha to ground out to end the inning.
TCU used the momentum to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on three hits. Keith Conlon got things going with a lead-off walk. Andrew Walker singled and Vern doubled in Conlon with TCU's first run of the game. Hunt Woodruff grounded out to make it a 6-2 game with two outs. Bryan Kervin bounced a single through the right side to drive in Vern.
The New Mexico bats stayed hot and they added a run in the fifth inning to make it a 7-4 contest. Daniel Stovall singled with two outs to drive in Drew McDonald.
The Frogs cut the deficit to one in the bottom with three more runs. Lobo starter Jacob Norton got the first two outs of the inning, but issued back-to-back walks to Conlon and Austin Adams. Walker followed with an RBI single and Vern dropped his second double into right field to plate two runs.
TCU completed the comeback in the sixth, knotting the game at seven. On in relief Ryan Escarcega gave up a lead-off single to Woodruff. After a Kervin sacrifice, Ben Carruthers singled to put runners on the corners. Clint Arnold hit a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game.
New Mexico wasted no time regaining the lead as they picked up two runs in the top of the seventh. Stovall broke the tie with a base hit to right and Hollick drove in the insurance run to give the Lobos a 9-7 lead.
Adam Skelton came on in the sixth and shut the Frogs down, limiting them to just one hit over the next two innings. He got the first two outs in the ninth, before Adams smoked a double to center field. Walker picked up his fourth hit of the game to drive in Adams, making it a 9-8 game, but that was all the Frogs would get.
Chance Corgan got the start for TCU and lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He surrendered six runs on five hits, walked five and struck out one. Donald Furrow (3-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in two innings of work. He walked two and struck out two.
TCU finishes the regular season with an impressive 43-12 mark to go along with a 20-3 record in MWC play.