South Florida Eliminates Baseball From C-USA Tournament, 10-6
May 22, 2003
NEW ORLEANS - An 8-1 deficit was too much to overcome as TCU dropped a 10-6 decision to South Florida Thursday afternoon at Tulane's Turchin Stadium, eliminating the Horned Frogs from the Conference USA Tournament.
TCU (35-22), which came into the final day of the conference play with a shot at the regular-season league championship and finished just one game behind C-USA champ Southern Miss, now puts its fate in the hands of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. The committee will announce the 64-team field for the NCAA Tournament on Monday, May 26.
South Florida, the No. 6 seed in the C-USA Tournament field, plated single runs in the first and second innings and three more in the third to jump out to a 5-0 lead after just three frames. Four different Bulls registered RBI during the stretch, including two from designated hitter Allen Shirley.
The Horned Frogs answered with a run of its own in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-1. A two-out, RBI double off the bat of Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) accounted for the tally.
The Bulls basically put the game away an inning later, as they pushed three runs across to take the 8-1 advantage. Four-consecutive one-out hits, including RBI doubles from Jeff Baisley and Myron Leslie, did the damage in the sixth.
TCU appeared to regain the momentum when the fired off five runs in the top of the seventh, cutting the USF lead to 8-6. The Frogs put together four-consecutive hits to start the inning, highlighted by a two-run single for by Trofholz, before Justin Hatcher (Fort Worth, Texas/Brewer) launched a towering three-run homer with two outs to bring the Frogs within two.
However, South Florida regained the momentum and put the final nail in the Horned Frogs' coffin by plating two runs on a fluke hit by Travis Brown in the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out, Brown hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play ball right at TCU shortstop Shaff Elkouri (Norman, Okla./Asher). But the ball hit the lip of the infield grass before it got to Elkouri, changed direction and skipped right under the senior's glove, allowing the two runs to score.
Senior Kyle Shoemaker (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) suffered the loss for TCU, allowing five runs on seven hits in just 2.1 innings of work. USF's David Austen picked up his league-leading and school record-breaking 11th win, while teammate Joey Livingston pitched the final two innings to record his 13th save of the season.
TCU becomes the fourth No. 2 seed in the past four seasons to be eliminated from the C-USA Tournament in two-straight games.