Frog Rally Falls Short, Drop Opener 6-5 To Oral Roberts
June 4, 2004
Austin, Texas - The Horned Frogs ninth inning rally fell one run short as they dropped the opening game of the 2004 NCAA Austin Regional to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The Frogs left two runners on and the tying run at third in the ninth inning. Shelby Ford led all Frog hitters, going 3-for-5 at the plate. Chad Huffman set a new single season hit record, breaking the old one with a base hit in the first inning. He now has 96 hits in his first season as a Frog.
The Horned Frogs got on the board first as they picked up two runs in the top of the first inning. Bo Cogbill got the first hit of the day for the Frogs and moved to third on a base hit by Chad Huffman. The hit by Huffman was his 95th of the year and broke the record for hits in a season previously held by Royce Huffman (1999) and Terry Trofholz (2004). Austin Adams continued his torrid hitting streak as he doubled to the right center gap, plating the two runs for TCU.
Oral Roberts cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Jeff Tuttle. The Golden Eagles took the lead in the third as they struck for three runs on four hits ending TCU starter Eugene Espineli's day. Espineli left with runners on first and second, but Chad Underwood did his job, striking out Jon Tackett to end the inning.
The Eagles picked up a run in two of the next three innings. An unearned run crossed the plate in the fourth on a throwing error by Underwood and Matt VanDerBosch doubled in a run in the sixth.
Golden Eagle starter Dennis Bigley settled down after the first inning and kept the Frogs from stringing together a big inning. Over the course of the next five innings, Bigley allowed only three hits, hit two batters and walked one. He left the game with a 6-2 lead after six innings of work.
Bigley handed the ball over to Adam Lesko in the seventh inning. Ramon Moses greeted Lesko with a base hit to center. Cogbill tripled to deep right center to plate Moses, cutting the Golden Eagle lead in half, 6-3. Huffman hit a ground ball to the short stop, Grant Plumley, who threw it away, plating Cogbill, making it a 6-4 ball game with no outs. After an Adams groundout, Ford laced a single to right field, but Lesko got Chris Neuman to ground into an inning-ending double play. But TCU was within two, 6-4.
The Frogs mounted a two-out rally in the ninth inning. Huffman reached on a fielding error by third baseman Tackett. Adams drew a walk to move Huffman to second. Ford delivered in the clutch, singling to center to plate Huffman and move the tying run to third base. Golden Eagle Justin Ramsey bore down and struck out Neuman to end the game.
Underwood and Chris White gave the Frogs quality innings in relief of starter Espineli (9-5). Underwood allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and struck out two. White allowed one hit in his lone inning of work and struck out one.
With the loss, the Frogs (38-24) drop into the loser's bracket in the tournament. The will play the loser of the Texas/Youngstown State match-up at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.
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