No. 18 TCU rallies for second straight tournament crown
May 26, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The No. 18 TCU Horned Frogs (46-12) were down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth inning and rallied for four runs to win their second straight Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship. TCU scored seven unanswered runs to take the game by a 9-8 margin at Earl E. Wilson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 8-5 heading into their final at bat, Austin Adams stepped up and deposited a three-run game-tying home run to straight-away center field on a Matt Jensen offering. Matt Vern delivered the game-winning hit to wrap up the championship.
With one-out recorded in the ninth, Clint Arnold began the rally with a hustle double to left. Steven Trout was then walked to put runners on first and second. Following a strike out, Adams tied up the game with his 14th smash of the season. Andrew Walker kept things rolling with a double down the right field line. Vern's dramatics immediately followed to win the ball game.
BYU jumped out quickly for a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of TCU's Chance Corgan. The Cougars scattered four hits around the field for their three runs. Dan Vargas got the offense rolling with a one-out single to left. Apana Nakayama took a base-on-balls to put runners on first and secon. Kent Walton stepped up and delivered a single to center to bring home Vargas for the game's first run. Steve Parker brought in the second run with a single to left and Kasey Ko plated the third run on a ground out to first.
The Cougars took a 4-0 advantage in the third on a sacrifice fly by Ko to score Walton from third.
BYU pushed its lead to 6-1 with two runs in the fourth. Austin Hall and Stephen Wells strung together back-to-back singles, while Vargas moved them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. With runners in scoring position, Corgan uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Hall to score. Walton plated Wells from third on a single through the left side.
In the bottom of the fourth, Keith Conlon blasted a solo home run to pull TCU within four runs at 6-2.
Four singles got two more runs on the board for BYU in the fifth. Hall and Wells delivered consecutive singles to bring home the runs.
TCU had runners in scoring position in the fifth and got an RBI-single by Trout to bring one run home. Conlon picked up his second RBI of the game with a fielder's choice ground out.
The Horned Frogs pulled within three with a run scored by Hunt Woodruff on an errant throw by Parker at third base. Woodruff led off the inning with a single and made his way into scoring position on a ground out.
Steven Maxwell (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in only one-third of an inning of work.
Jensen (5-5) suffered the loss in 2.0 innings of relief. He allowed four runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out one.
With the win, TCU earns the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament that begins next weekend. The host sites will be announced tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN, while the tournament field will be announced on Monday morning on "The Road To Omaha" selection show beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The Frogs will host a watching party beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the Special Events Room in the John Justin Center on Monday.
2007 MWC Baseball Championship All-Tournament Team