No. 18 TCU advances in the winner's bracket, tops UNLV 8-1
May 24, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Clint Arnold homered to lead off TCU's first at-bat and the No. 18 Horned Frogs cruised to the 8-1 victory over UNLV to advance in the winner's bracket of the MWC Tourney. Jake Arrieta was outstanding in seven innings of work to improve to 9-3 on the season. Keith Conlon led the team offensively with four hits and three RBIs.
Clint Arnold wasted no time putting the Frogs on top. He took a Kevin Skogley 3-2 offering and smoked a line drive home run over the left field fence to lead off the bottom of the first. Steven Trout worked a walk and Keith Conlon followed with a base hit to put two on. Braden Walker booted a ball off the bat of Austin Adams, allowing Trout to score all the way from second for the early 2-0 TCU lead.
Two mammoth home runs in the third inning extended TCU's lead out to five. Trout worked his second walk of the game and Conlon turned on a Skogley pitch and crushed it well over the left center field fence for a 4-0 Horned Frog lead. Adams followed with a line drive shot that was a no-doubter when it left the bat, ending Skogley's afternoon.
Arrieta cruised through the first five innings, facing only one over the minimum, a two-out double to Efren Navarro, Jr. in the second inning.
UNLV mounted their first rally of the game in the sixth inning. Braden Walker broke a string of 10 straight retired by Arrieta with a lead-off single. Michael Brenly doubled off the right field wall moving Walker to third and Calvin Beamon was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Arrieat was equal to the task, inducing two shallow fly balls to right and getting Blake Gailen to ground out to end the threat without allowing a run.
The Rebels again tried to make something happen in the seventh as the first two men reached base. Arrieta fanned Rance Roundy and then got Walker to ground into the inning-ending double play.
Arrieta turned in perhaps his best outing of the season tossing seven shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and struck out six. While he didn't walk a batter, he did hit two.
UNLV reliever Matt Hutchison did a good job keeping the Frogs off balance, but TCU finally broke through in the seventh to extend its lead. Conlon reached on a one-out bunt single. He stole second and moved to third on the Rebels third error of the game. Adams hit a soft line drive over the head of the third baseman to plate Conlon. TCU had the bases load after an Andrew Walker double and a walk to Matt Vern, but couldn't add to its lead.
TCU tacked on two more runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Conlon and Adams to increase the lead out to eight.
TCU improves to 44-12 on the season and advances to face the second-seeded BYU Cougars Friday afternoon. First pitch is slated for approximately 3 p.m. Chris Johnson will toe the rubber for the Frogs and square off against MWC Pitcher of the Year, Jesse Craig.