Dramatic ninth-inning rally sends TCU past Baylor
June 3, 2007
HOUSTON -- Steven Trout's two-run single tied the game before Matt McGuirk's grand slam capped a seven-run ninth inning in TCU's 10-5 Sunday afternoon victory over Baylor, sending the Horned Frogs into the 6 p.m. NCAA Regional championship game against Rice.
TCU will need to beat Rice twice, Sunday at 6 p.m. as well as Monday at 6 p.m., to advance to its first NCAA Super Regional. The Frogs are in a regional championship game for the first time in their history. It's also the first time TCU has won more than one game in a regional.
TCU (48-13) trailed 5-3 entering the top of the ninth when Ben Carruthers led off with a single. Pinch hitter Keith Conlon was then hit by a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Clint Arnold put the runners in scoring position with one out.
Steven Trout then ripped a single to right, his second hit on the day, to tie the game. Carruthers easily scored before pitcher Donald Furrow, running for Conlon, made his way home. As the throw from right arrived at the plate, Furrow's slide kicked the glove and ball free from Baylor catcher Matt Czimskey. The ball went into the TCU dugout and allowed Trout to advance to third base. It was the first time that Furrow, a senior, had been on the bases in his collegiate career.
Following an intentional walk to Andrew Walker, Austin Adams delivered a base hit to left to score Trout with the go-ahead run. One out later, Bryan Kervin walked to load the bases. McGuirk then followed with his blast over the wall in left to cap the seven-run inning and make it a 10-5 game. It was McGuirk's fifth homer of the season and TCU's first grand slam in the 2007 campaign.
"I thought the big play of the ninth inning was Arnold getting the bunt down," TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "That put us in position and then we have the pitcher score the tying run.
"We've just got to keep grinding and find a way to play another day."
Sophomore Taylor Cragin (2-0), pitching just outside his hometown of Friendswood, Texas, allowed one run on three hits in four innings of relief to earn the win. Cragin struck out four and did not walk a batter.
"It's a great feeling," Cragin said. "I was just trying to come in and keep it as close as possible."
Before driving in the go-ahead tally in the ninth, Adams had a run-scoring single in the top of the first to put TCU in front 1-0. Two batters later, an RBI groundout by Kervin made it a 2-0 game.
Walker, who had three hits, had an RBI single in the second inning to give TCU a 3-0 advantage.
After being blanked for three innings by TCU starter Chance Corgan, Baylor (35-27) scored a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-3 lead. A solo homer by Raynor Campbell in the seventh extended the Bears' margin to 5-3.
Baylor closer Nick Cassavechia (6-2) took the loss, allowing six earned runs in his one inning of work. Cassavechia entered the game with a 6-1 record, 11 saves and a 2.12 ERA.
Baylor lost for only the second time in 29 games when leading after eight innings. Since 2004, it was just the fourth loss in 117 contests for the Bears when ahead entering the ninth inning.