April 2, 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas - For the second straight night, TCU used a big inning late in the game to secure victory as it defeated San Diego State, 11-5, Friday evening at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth. The win improved the 11th-ranked Horned Frogs to 20-5 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West Conference while the Aztecs dropped to 10-17 (0-7 MWC).
Mitch Blackburn was the hitting star for SDSU on the night as his solo home runs in the first and third innings staked his team to a 2-0 lead. He would finish the contest with three hits, adding a single in the eighth.
The Aztecs' early lead did not last long as TCU came back to tie the game with a pair of runs in its half of the third when second baseman Jerome Pena hit a two-run homer to right center that came after Aaron Schultz has reached on a bunt single, the Horned Frogs' first hit of the evening.
The Aztecs regained the lead one inning later when Blair Moore reached on a fielding error and scored on Chris Wilson's two-run home run to left. It was the Aztec third baseman's second round-tripper of the week and third of the season.
The Horned Frogs took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth as they responded with three runs to go ahead 5-4. An RBI single by Brance Rivera and a two-run single by Pena off SDSU starter Bryan Crabb were the key hits in the inning.
San Diego State, however, rallied to tie the game in its half of the fifth. An inning-opening walk to Jordan Van Hoosier meant the end of the evening for TCU starting pitcher Kyle Winkler, who was removed from the game in favor of right-hander Tyler Lockwood. A subsequent single by Blair Moore was followed by Jomel Torres' RBI double to center to tie the game at 5-5.
With Crabb (2-3) still on the mound for SDSU to start the sixth, a one out solo home run by Rivera gave the Horned Frogs the lead once again. It was Crabb's final batter of the night as he was lifted from the contest at that point having allowed six runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. His eight strikeouts tied his season best in a game, equaling his total in nine innings vs. Santa Clara earlier this season.
TCU effectively put the game away in the seventh when it scored five times off a pair of SDSU relievers. That rally included three hits, two walks and a pair of San Diego State errors. It also ensured that Lockwood would be credited with the win as he improved to 3-2 on the season.
The Aztecs and Horned Frogs will conclude their weekend series on Saturday (April 3) with a single game scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. (CT) start.