Pitching Dominates Again As Frogs Win, 8-1
May 21, 2004
Fort Worth, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs kept pace in the race for the fourth seed in the upcoming Conference USA Post Season Tournament as they defeated the Charlotte 49ers, 8-1 Saturday night at Lupton Stadium. The Frogs remain one game behind the Houston Cougars in fifth place going into the final game of the regular season. Frog pitchers turned in another dominating performance as they won their second in a row. Eugene Espineli pitched seven strong innings and Andrew Allar threw two scoreless innings of relief to lead the Frogs to victory.
The third inning proved to be the deciding inning for the second game in a row as the offense came alive, scoring three runs on two hits to gain the early advantage. D.J. Pokluda took a ball off the foot to get the inning started. After a Ramon Moses sacrifice and a wild pitch, Pokluda stood on third with only one out. 49ers third baseman Adam Floyd momentarily saved a run as he robbed Shelby Ford of a base hit, but Charlotte starter Matt Landphair walked the next two batters to load the bases. Austin Adams delivered the clutch single through the left side, plating two runs. Chris Neuman stroked a two-out run scoring single to give the Frogs the 3-0 lead.
After Charlotte cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth, the Frogs broke the game open in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs on five hits. Five straight batters reached base to start the inning for the Frogs. Chad Huffman drove in a run with a double, while Bo Cogbill and Adams each picked up RBI-singles to push the lead to 6-0. A Neuman single ended the day for Landphair. Another run crossed the plate in the inning as Pokluda drew a bases loaded walk and after five innings, TCU was in control 7-1.
Espineli sailed through the first four innings of the ballgame before allowing a run in the fifth. In his seven innings of work, Espineli only allowed five hits, while striking out eight to earn his seventh victory of the season.
Charlotte threatened to pick up another run in the eighth as they had runners on second and third with only one out, but Allar struck out the next batter he faced and got Adam Floyd to groundout to end the threat. In all, Allar pitched two innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.
The Frogs offense came alive as they collected 10 hits for the first time in eight games. Neuman and Adams each put together three-hit games for the Frogs.
TCU (32-23, 18-11 C-USA) will wrap up the regular season on Saturday night as they wrap up their series with Charlotte. The Frogs will honor their 11 seniors prior to the start of the game. Game time is set for 7:00.