Steglich blasts Frogs to sweep of New Mexico
May 20, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The TCU Horned Frogs scored twice in the top of the ninth to break a 6-6 tie in a see-saw battle that ended in an 8-6 TCU victory over New Mexico Saturday afternoon. The Frogs end the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. Corey Steglich's lead-off home run in the top of the ninth propelled the Frogs to the win. Hunt Woodruff drove in three runs, while Steven Trout and Matt Carpenter each finished with three hits in the game.
After the Lobos had battled back to tie the game at six in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Horned Frogs wasted no time regaining the lead. Steglich lined a 3-1 Chad Itokazu offering over the left field wall to give the Frogs a 7-6 lead. Woodruff followed, working his way on base with a walk before giving way to pinch runner Ben Carruthers. Ryan Pack dropped down a sacrifice to move Carruthers up 90 feet and Bryan Kervin singled him home with his only hit of the game. Shawn Ferguson retired the Lobos in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure his fourth victory of the season.
TCU had gotten on the board first in the opening frame, taking advantage of two Lobo errors. Chad Huffman drew a two-out walk to start the rally. Huffman stole second and took third base on an errant throw by the first baseman. Austin Adams smashed a ball to third base that was knocked down, but not in time to prevent the run from scoring as Adams beat the throw at first.
The lead wouldn't hold as the first five batters for New Mexico reached. Jordan Pacheco singled and scored on a bases loaded walk to Daniel Stovall, ending TCU starter Zach Ashwood's day. Ian Hollick singled to put the Lobos up 2-1 and Jay Russell lined a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a 3-1 contest before Donald Furrow was able to retire Zach Arnett to end the inning.
With Furrow keeping the Lobos in check, the Frogs were able to battle back, eventually tying the game in the fourth inning. Keith Conlon singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a double by Corey Steglich, who extended his hit streak to 13 games. Woodruff hit a ball to the right side, driving in Conlon to make it a 3-2 contest and Trout tied the game with a two-out bloop single to left field.
The Frogs took the lead in the fifth inning as Lobo starter Nate Melek struggled with his control. Carpenter dropped a bunt down the third base line to open the inning. Conlon was hit by the pitch and Steglich walked, loading the bases. Woodruff again came through with a productive out as he line a sacrifice fly to left field, giving TCU the 4-3 lead.
The see-saw battle continued in the bottom of the inning as the Lobos plated two runs on three hits. The first two batters reached to open the frame, ending Furrow's afternoon. Dillon Farish came on and got Stovall to ground out, but the tying run was able to cross the plate. After a long fly ball out, Matt Foote dropped a single in right field to drive in the go-ahead run.
A two-run seventh inning for TCU gave it a 6-5 advantage heading into the eighth inning. Carpenter and Conlon singled to open the inning and Steglich dropped down a bunt to advance both runners into scoring position. Woodruff grounded out to drive in the tying run and Pack gave them the lead with a two-out single to left.
In the bottom of the eighth with one out, the Frogs called on Ferguson. Pinch hitter Chris Dabbs greeted him with a long double off the wall in center field. Ferguson buckled down and induced a ground ball out off the bat of Arnett before plunking Pacheco. The 1-0 pitch to Ryan Barba sailed to the backstop allowing Dabbs to race home with the tying run, setting up Steglich's ninth inning heroics.
The Frogs wrap up the regular season with a 35-21 overall record and a 17-5 mark in Mountain West play. TCU is off until Wednesday when it opens play in the Mountain West Conference Postseason Tournament. With a first round bye, the Frogs will await the winner of the (4) UNLV vs. (5) New Mexico game that will take place on Tuesday night. Game time Wednesday night is slated for 7 p.m. at Earl E. Wilson Field on the UNLV campus in Las Vegas, Nev.