June 25, 2010

OMAHA - TCU starter Matt Purke tossed a three-hitter and the Frogs smashed a trio of home runs to earn a 6-2 win over the UCLA Bruins in game 11 of the College World Series on Friday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium. With the win, the Frogs force an elimination game against the Bruins slated for Saturday at either 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. CT. The winner of the Bracket One final will move on to play in the championship series beginning Monday.

Purke’s record remained unblemished this season, as he moved to 16-0 after delivering 6.1 solid innings of work for the win. He held the Bruins hitless through 4.1 innings before allowing two earned runs on three hits while striking out a pair and walking two. TCU reliever Tyler Lockwood worked 2.2 shutout innings, giving up just one hit to pick up his eighth save of the season.

TCU’s middle infielders paced the Frogs offensively, as shortstop Taylor Featherston finished the day 2-for-2 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the seventh, while second baseman Jerome Peña chipped in a long ball and a pair of RBIs. Catcher Bryan Holaday also went yard in the eighth, marking his 15th home run of the season.

    A two-out walk to Featherston plated the first run of the game for the Horned Frogs. After back-to-back one-out singles by Holaday and leftfielder Jason Coats, first baseman Matt Curry grounded back to the pitcher, moving the runners to second and third with two outs. Bruin starter Rob Rasmussen (11-3) issued a walk to load the bases then followed with the RBI-walk to Featherston, keeping the bases loaded for designated hitter Josh Elander. Elander roped the ball to centerfield, but UCLA centerfielder Beau Amaral made a spectacular diving grab to prevent any further damage.

    TCU tacked on another run in the second to take a 2-0 lead. Centerfielder Aaron Schultz led off with a double off the centerfield wall and eventually scored on Peña’s single to the gap in left-center.

    Peña collected his second RBI of the game with his 11th home run of the season to give the Frogs a 3-0 advantage. He worked the count full before driving the ball into the first row of the left-centerfield bleachers.

    The Bruins got on the board in the fifth thanks to a pair of base hits. Leftfielder Chris Giovinazzo dropped down a bunt single for the Bruins’ first hit of the game and advanced to second on a groundout. Rightfielder Brett Krill’s two-out single up the middle provided UCLA’s first run, making it 3-1 Frogs.  

    UCLA continued to chip away at TCU’s lead in the seventh, cutting it to 3-2 in the top of the frame. Second baseman Cody Regis singled to lead off the inning and made his way to third after a pair of groundouts. Regis scored on a two-out fielder’s choice before Lockwood fanned the final batter to get out of the bases-loaded jam.

    Featherston and Holaday’s home runs in back-to-back innings accounted for the Frogs’ final three runs to make it 6-2. Both long balls came off Bruin reliever Garett Claypool, marking the first time the UCLA bullpen has given up a home run in the College World Series.

    Claypool pitched 3.2 innings in relief of Rasmussen, who suffered the loss. Rasmussen allowed three earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks in 4.1 innings, while Claypool gave up three earned runs on three hits.