April 1, 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after San Diego State was unable to take advantage of its own scoring opportunity in the top of the same frame as the 11th-ranked Horned Frogs defeated the Aztecs, 4-1, Thursday night at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.
The contest was a matchup of two freshmen pitchers, one highly-touted and the other making his first collegiate start. Both pitched equally well although neither was around at the end of the game to figure in the decision.
For TCU (19-5, 4-2 MWC), left-hander Matt Purke came into the contest with a record of 3-0 and a 4.06 ERA. Purke, tabbed as the top high school prospect in the nation in 2009, was a first-round draft pick (14th overall selection) of the Texas Rangers last June, but opted to attend college. After a shaky start he lived up to his billing as he finished 7.1 strong innings allowing a run on three hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Matching up against Purke was SDSU freshman Corey Black, who was making his first start of the year after four previous relief appearances. The first-year Aztec from Mission Bay HS in San Diego held the Horned Frogs, who came into the contest hitting .348 as a team, to a run on three hits over his 6.2 innings of work. Along the way he walked four and struck out a season-high eight batters.
The Aztecs (10-16, 0-4 MWC) got on the board quickly with a run in the top of the first. Back-to-back singles by Mitch Blackburn and Brandon Meredith plus a walk to Jordan Van Hoosier loaded the bases before a two-out walk to Ryan O'Sullivan brought home the first run of the game. Other than a single by Brandon Decker in the second, that was about all the Aztecs would get off Purke, who retired 14 straight batters from the third through seventh frames.
The Horned Frogs wasted little time in tying the contest, scoring a run in the second on a double by Jimmie Pharr, sac bunt by Taylor Featherston and a sacrifice fly by Brance Rivera to make it a 1-1 game.
The game would eventually come down to the eighth inning.
In the top half, TCU brought on reliever Trent Appleby with one out and he immediately gave up singles to Meredith and Cory Vaughn before walking Van Hoosier to load the bases. He was then able to escape the situation by inducing pinch hitter Guy Willeford to ground into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, with Robert Alcala on the mound for the Aztecs, one-out singles by Pharr and Featherston put runners at first and third. Rivera's squeeze bunt attempt to first base was fielded by Jomel Torres, who threw the ball past the catcher allowing the run to score and putting runners at second and third. Aaron Schultz followed with another squeeze bunt, and although he was out at first, both runners were able to score on the play.
The three runs (two earned) charged to Alcala meant that he would suffer the loss and fall to 0-2 on the year. Appleby was credited with the win to improve to 2-1.
Brandon Meredith had two hits for SDSU, which finished with a total of six, one more than the Horned Frogs had on the night.
San Diego State and TCU will continue their three-game series Friday evening (April 2) with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT).