Frogs cruise to championship game, top BYU 13-6
May 25, 2006
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The TCU Horned Frogs continued their hot hitting as they pummeled the BYU Cougars, 13-6 in the winner's bracket of the Mountain West Tournament Thursday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. TCU scored 13 runs on 19 hits and Brad Furnish turned in eight strong innings on the mound to lead the Frogs into the championship game on Saturday. Jerid Buttell came off the bench and hit his first career home run in the eighth inning. Seven Frogs tallied multiple hits in the contest, while four others drove in at least two runs.
The Cougars struck first, plating two runs on two hits. Seth Johnson drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning and Marcus Villezcas chopped a single down the third base side to put two on with nobody out. TCU starter Brad Furnish struck out the next two batters, but Kasey Ko drove a double to the gap in left field, clearing the bases.
TCU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a BYU error. Steven Trout singled with one out to start the rally and moved to second on a base knock by Austin Adams. Matt Carpenter hit a routine ground ball to the shortstop Villezcas, who saw it go right through the wickets, allowing Trout to race home with the Frogs first run of the game.
Furnish kept the Cougars in check, blanking them in the second and third innings and the Frogs battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Carpenter came up big with two outs, lacing a ball down the right field line. Adams chugged around the bases, scoring all the way from first, after reaching on a fielder's choice.
The Frog bats came alive in the fourth inning as they took a 6-2 lead. Andrew Walker led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second when Corey Steglich battled his way to a walk. Ryan Pack gave TCU the lead with a slash hit up the middle. Bryan Kervin made it a 4-2 contest with a base hit to center and Trout drove in the third run of the inning with a double to the gap in left field. Adams rounded out the scoring with a long double to center field.
BYU picked up a run in the top of the sixth inning on a two-out double down the left field line off the bat of Stetson Banks. Ko opened the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a two-out walk to Casey Nelson, setting up Banks' double. Furnish got Johnson to ground out to Carpenter at third and a nice play at the other end by first baseman Chad Huffman ended the Cougar threat.
Back-to-back doubles to open the bottom of the sixth got the run back for the Frogs. Kervin led off the inning with his 15th double of the season and scored on Trout's third hit of the day, a double to deep right field. Huffman put the Frogs up 9-3 with his 17th home run of the season, a two-run shot over the scoreboard in left field.
Another four-run inning, this time in the bottom of the eighth put the game out of reach. Huffman worked a lead-off walk and scored on Buttell's shot to right center. After Clayton Barnes retired Carpenter, Conlon and Walker singled and Pack walked to load the bases. Kervin drove in two more runs with his third hit of the night to make it a 13-3 ball game.
Furnish improved to 8-5 on the season with eight strong innings. He allowed just three runs on eight hits, struck out nine and walked four. Dillon Farish worked the ninth inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. He struck out the side around the four hits.
Two more games will be played before the Frogs will find out who they will meet in the championship game. UNLV and New Mexico play on Thursday night with BYU awaiting the winner of that game for Friday night for the right to go to Saturday's championship game.
The Frogs improve to 37-21 on the year and have won nine straight games.