Frogs dominate in tournament opener, pound New Mexico 18-6
May 25, 2006
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Two teams had already been eliminated before the Horned Frogs took the field for their opening game in the Mountain West Postseason Tournament. Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Frogs exploded, scoring 14 unanswered runs as they defeated the fifth-seeded New Mexico Wednesday night at Earl E. Wilson stadium on the UNLV campus. Seven Frogs recorded multi-hit games, while four others drove in two or more runs. Andrew Walker was the offensive star as he went 3-for-3 with two home runs, four runs scored and six runs driven in.
The Lobos struck first as the first three batters reached base to start the game. Jordan Pacheco singled and moved to third on a base hit by Ryan Barba. Chris Carlson gave New Mexico the 1-0 lead with a base knock to right field, ending Jake Arrieta's streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings. He settled in and retired three straight batters to end the inning.
TCU wasted no time knotting the game at one. Steven Trout drove a one-out double off the wall in right center. Chad Huffman followed with an opposite field single to right field to knot the game at one.
A Walker blast gave the Frogs a 4-1 lead in the second inning. Matt Carpenter led off the inning with a base hit to left field. An error by the second baseman on a hard hit ball by Keith Conlon put runners on second and third with no outs. Walker cleared the bases with one swing, driving his seventh home run of the season over the left field fence.
New Mexico battled back, scoring once in the third inning to make it a 4-2 contest. Daniel Stovall laced an RBI single off Arrieta's leg to drive in Carlson, who reached on a one-out double.
The Lobos rallied with two outs in the fourth inning to take the lead. Jay Russell worked a lead-off walk but Arrieta battled back to retire the next two batters. Pacheco broke up the rhythm with a single to drive in Russell. Ryan Barba tied the game with a single to left. Two more Lobos reached, loading the bases. Ian Hollick singled to drive in the go-ahead run, but a strong throw from Ryan Pack in center field erased Carlson at the plate to end the inning.
The Frog bats came alive in the bottom of the frame as they scored six times on just five hits. With one out, Walker drew a walk to start the rally. Corey Steglich and Pack singled to load the bases. Bryan Kervin tied the game at five with a long sacrifice fly to the wall in right. A Trout single through the left side plated two, giving the Frogs a 7-5 lead. Huffman followed with his 16th home run of the season, ending Lobo starter Jesse Perez's day. Austin Adams greeted the new pitcher with a solo shot to dead center. After four, the Frogs were in control with a 9-5 lead.
New Mexico got a run back in the top of the fifth, but the Frogs answered with a two-spot in the bottom of the inning. Conlon single to open the inning and moved to second on a Walker double. Steglich hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Conlon and Walker raced home on a wild pitch from Quentin Andes to make it an 11-6 game.
After allowing six runs on nine hits in the first four-plus innings, Arrieta settled in and retired the final nine batters he faced. He improved to 13-4 on the season as he struck out six and walked three.
Another six-run inning, this time in the seventh put the game out of reach. Walker's second home run of the game drove in three more runs to make it a 15-6 game. Huffman hit a two-out double to plate Pack and Carpenter rounded out the scoring with a two-run single as the Frogs sent 11 men to the plate.
The Frogs improve to 36-21 on the year and have won eight straight games. They advance in the winner's bracket of the tournament and will play BYU Thursday afternoon. First pitch is schedule for 6 p.m. (CST). Brad Furnish will take the mound for the Frogs.