Monday, May 7, 2012

Big series win puts TCU in 1st place tie

After a split in the Saturday double-header, the Frogs gutted out a 2-1 pitcher's duel win in yesterday's Game 3 to preserve a series win over New Mexico and move themselves into a first-place tie with the Lobos at 13-5 in conference play.

New Mexico senior Gera Sanchez, who carried a 1.63 ERA into the weekend, was simply brilliant for the Lobos.  Sanchez had a no-hitter going through six innings, and the Frogs had gone down in order in five of those innings- the lone exception being a hit-by-pitch with one out in the second.  The frustration amongst the 3,700+ fans at Lupton continued to grow inning after inning after the TCU offense failed to deliver.

The good news, though, is that Andrew Mitchell was just about as dominating as Sanchez.  The sophomore from Houston allowed just 3 hits and struck out 9 in his 6⅔ innings of scoreless work.  He got himself into a few jams in the first few innings, but every time was able to strand Lobo runners in scoring position and maintain the "0" in the scoring column.  Twice, Mitchell struck out UNM slugger DJ Peterson on three straight pitches.

The pivotal inning of the game was the bottom of the 7th, when Josh Elander led off being hit by a pitch and Jason Coats followed with a walk after having been down 0-2 in the count.  With one out, freshman Kevin Cron ripped an 0-1 fastball into the gap in right-center- finally breaking the no-hitter and scoring the first two runs of the game for either team. 

Kevin Allen and Justin Scharf came on in relief to earn the win and the save, respectively.  The Lobos did get on the board in the top of the 8th after first baseman Brett Johnson mysteriously decided not to throw home on what could've been an inning-ending double play.  In the 9th, Peterson came to the plate with the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out.  But Scharf was able to induce the double-play that had eluded the Frogs an inning prior and the game came to an end.

With just a few weeks left in the regular-season, the two teams are now tied atop the MWC standings at 13-5.  TCU's remaining conference series are at Air Force next weekend and against San Diego State in Fort Worth the following weekend.  New Mexico travels to Las Vegas to take on UNLV next weekend and ends the season against Air Force at home the next week.  Both teams have a 5-1 record against the teams remaining on their schedule.

I've scoured the MWC website, without success, trying to find the tie-breaking procedures.  Perhaps the conference will put out a press release explaining the situation, as they did near the end of basketball season.  The Frogs, though, just need to focus on winning every game they can- both to ensure a 7th straight conference title and to strengthen their NCAA resume.


VikingFrog said...

Tie breaker would go to record against second place MWC team, then third place team, and so on. I believe it will end up being our record against SDSU that would win it for us if both teams were to win out, but I could be mistaken.

Lyle Lanley said...

Yeah, I knew that was basically how the basketball tie-breakers worked. If that is the case, it means we'd have to sweep SDSU.

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