April 9, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Lobos came up short in a battle for sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference, as TCU beat UNM 11-4 Saturday night.
The story of this game was the complete opposite from the first game, as it was UNM's bullpen struggling this time around instead of TCU's. Both starting pitchers had solid outings, as the score of the game was 4-2 in TCU's favor, before being handed over to each respective bullpen. The difference was TCU put up seven runs on UNM's bullpen, compared to the two runs the Lobos put up on the Horned Frogs bullpen. After the late onslaught, TCU claimed the win by a final score of 11-4.
Alexis Garza, making his first start of the season for the Lobos, was tested early by TCU, as the Horned Frogs had a 1-0 lead after the end of the first inning. Junior right fielder Brance Rivera led off the bottom of the inning with a double down the left field line. Rivera would be driven in on an RBI single from shortstop Taylor Featherston later in the inning to give the Horned Frogs the 1-0 lead.
UNM's Garza allowed two more runs, one in the third and one in the fourth innings, giving TCU a 3-0 lead through four. Featherston picked up his second RBI of the game with a groundout in the third that scored second baseman Davy Wright, while first baseman Brett Johnson scored DH Josh Elander with a groundout in the fourth.
TCU starter Matt Purke had a very solid outing in his win, holding the Lobos scoreless through five, before finally surrendering two runs in the sixth. Junior third baseman Quay Grant brought home sophomore Mitchell Garver on an RBI single to right center for the first run, closing TCU's lead to 4-1. After giving up the run, Purke began having control issues, hitting two-straight batters (three overall), before being replaced by reliever Trevor Appleby. Woodchick brought home the second run for the Lobos with an RBI infield single off Appleby, narrowing the score to 4-2 in TCU's favor.
Bobby Mares came on to replace Garza in the sixth inning after Garza threw for five innings, surrendering four runs on five hits in the loss. Mares shut TCU out in the bottom of the sixth, but allowed two in the seventh, to give the Horned Frogs a 6-2 lead.
UNM hung tough by rallying in the top of the eighth, scoring two more runs to narrow TCU's lead to 6-4. The Lobos had back-to-back RBI doubles coming off the bats of sophomore pinch-hitter Jacob Nelson and junior right fielder Ben Woodchick.
The bottom half of the eighth inning was one the Lobos would like to forget, as TCU hit up Mares for five runs, extending their lead to 11-4. The highlight of the inning for the Horned Frogs came from junior left fielder Jason Coats, who smoked a three-run homer to left field.
The Horned Frogs brought in Tony Rizzotti to close out the game in the ninth. Rizzotti came out of the ninth unscathed, giving TCU the win 11-4.
UNM falls to 10-21 (5-3, MWC) on the year with the loss, while TCU improves to 21-10 (6-2, MWC) with the victory.
The third and final game of the series will take place tomorrow at 12 p.m. and will feature junior left-hander Rudy Jaramillo (2-3, 4.50 ERA) for the Lobos versus senior lefty Steven Maxwell (4-0, 3.21 ERA) of the Horned Frogs.