April 12, 2012

Frogs exact revenge against UT Arlington

It wasn't a game that was going to make or break the season, but Jim Schlossnagle wanted the victory and rightfully so.

The TCU coach rolled out his best lineup against one of the hottest teams in college baseball, and one that dealt his squad a tough extra-inning loss earlier in the season, and it paid off as the Frogs recorded timely hits and solid pitching to down UT Arlington 5-1 at Lupton Field on Wednesday.

Stefan Crichton, making an unscheduled start, gave up a first inning run to the cross-town foe Mavericks but settled in and allowed just four hits and struck out four over four innings.

Schlossnagle said the win was important to keep the Frogs' RPI competitive but also because TCU was facing a team that had downed Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas A&M this season.

"Other than Texas A&M, RPI-wise (UTA) is the best team we'll play the rest of the year," Schlossnagle said.

The Frogs (17-13) used five arms in relief and Justin Finnegan, who took over for Crichton and gave up just two hits in two innings, picked up the win. TCU's bullpen gave up just five hits and combined for six strike outs.

"That's a pretty good sign for a bullpen that I think is already pretty good," Schlossnagle said.

Freshman Kevin Cron, who recorded 28 home runs his senior season of high school but had yet to go yard as a Frog, broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth with a solo bomb in the sixth over the left field wall.

"It's a big load off my back," Cron said of his first collegiate home run. "It was nice to be able to help the team. Especially in a situation where it was a tie game."

Cron, Brance Rivera (who had been benched for several games prior to Wednesday's game) and Kyle Von Tunglen each recorded two hits to lead the Frogs' offense and TCU picked up two insurance runs in the seventh after a balk by Mavs reliever Kevin Thompson scored Keaton Jones from third and a sac fly from Josh Elander scored Rivera, who escaped a run down between third and home a play earlier.

The Frogs have now won three straight after droping consecutive games to UNLV, Dallas Baptist and UNC-Wilmington.

The loss for UTA (21-13) came just a day after the Mavericks downed No. 2 Texas A&M 3-2 in College Station.

Crichton will throw again this weekend against Air Force as the Frogs, a game back from New Mexico in the Mountain West standings, host the Falcons for a three-game series.


GAME NOTES

- Frogs senior outfielder Jason Coats' streak of 135 consecutive games played came to an end on Wednesday.

- Brothers Kasey (sophomore reliever for UTA) and Kaleb Merck (redshirt junior reliever for TCU) both saw action on Wednesday.


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