Curry Rallies TCU In Grand Fashion

June 23, 2010

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OMAHA, Neb. - Matt Curry's eighth-inning grand slam completed the TCU rally as the Horned Frogs handed Florida State an 11-7 loss Wednesday night in an elimination game. The Frogs put up an eight-spot in the top of the eighth inning to erase what had been a five-run deficit at one point. TCU took advantage five Seminole errors to score 10 unearned runs.

The fifth error of the night proved to be the most costly for the Seminoles as Jantzen Witte reached on the miscue to lead off the inning. A wild pitch moved him to second and a Taylor Featherston base hit put runners on the corners. With one out, Brance Rivera hustled down the line to beat out a potential double play ball to keep the inning alive and drive in a run to make it 7-4.

Jerome Pena worked a four-pitch walk off the Seminoles All-American closer, Mike McGee. Bryan Holaday doubled off the wall to pull the Frogs within two and Jason Coats worked a 3-2 walk to load the bases for Curry. The senior first baseman delivered in the clutch depositing a 3-2 offering from McGee over the center field fence to turn the deficit into a two-run lead.

Josh Elander kept the inning alive with a base hit to center to prompt a pitching change. Witte greeted the new pitcher with his fourth home run of the season to left field to give the Frogs a four-run cushion, 11-7.

The Seminoles tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the inning as they loaded with only one out, but Merck was equal to the task getting Sherman Johnson to strike out and McGee to line out softly to end the inning. He set the side down in order in the ninth to nail down the win.

Steven Maxwell got the no-decision after allowing four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings of work. He fanned four and did not walk a batter. Tyler Lockwood was touched up for three runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. The senior walked three and struck out three. Erik Miller (1-1) picked up his first career victory, picking up two outs in the seventh inning. Merck tossed two scoreless innings to send the Frogs to victory.

Back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the first by Johnson and McGee put the Frogs in a 2-0 hole with just one out in the inning.

The Frogs worked hard to get the game knotted at two in the third inning, scoring a pair of unearned runs. Aaron Schultz reached on an error to open the inning and Brance Rivera dropped in a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. An errant pick-off attempt cut the deficit to one as Schultz raced home and Rivera moved to third. A running mistake erased Rivera at third, but he stayed in the run down long enough to get Bryan Holaday to second. Matt Curry tied the game at two with a two-out single up the middle.

Florida State did not stay down long as it regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. A two-out triple by James Ramsey scored Johnson and gave the Seminoles a 3-2 lead. Stephen Cardullo followed with an infield single to restore the two-run lead, 4-2.

The Seminoles stretched the lead to five with a three-run fifth inning. The big blow was a two-run, two-out double by Jayce Boyd that gave Florida State a 7-2 lead.

Jerome Pena cut into the Seminole lead with a one-out home run in the seventh inning. The long ball was the 10th of the season for the second baseman. A two-out error kept the inning alive and Curry followed with a walk, but Seminole pitcher Daniel Bennett got out of the jam with a big strikeout to keep the Seminole lead at four, 7-3.

TCU improves to 53-13 on the season and advances to face UCLA Friday afternoon. Game time for the contest is set for 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 will carry the game live.

Game Notes:
* Matt Curry's home run was his 18th of the season, tying Chad Huffman (2006) for the fifth-most home runs in a single season. It was his first home run since May 21 against Cal State Bakersfield.
* The grand slam was the third of the season for the Horned Frogs.
* TCU improves to 33-7 in games in which it hits a home run.
* TCU improved to 4-12 in games it is trailing in after seven innings.
* Tyler Lockwood had only given up three or more runs in an outing just once this season (March 26 at Air Force).
* TCU gave up a run in the first inning of all three games it played in the College World Series.
* Jerome Pena connecting for his 10th home run of the season gave TCU four players with 10 or more home runs for the first time in school history. It was his first home run since May 16 against Air Force.
* Jantzen Witte's home run was his first since May 9 at New Mexico.



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