June 1, 2007
Box Score |
| Photo Gallery
HOUSTON, Texas -- Sam Demel struck out Ben Booker on a full-count changeup with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth as second-seeded and 16th-ranked TCU edged third-seeded Baylor 3-2 in Friday's first-round action at the NCAA Houston Regional, hosted by Rice University at Reckling Park.
Baylor (34-26) drops to the loser's bracket and will play the loser of Friday night's game between top-seeded and second-ranked Rice and fourth-seeded Prairie View A&M. TCU (47-12) advances to the winner's bracket and will face the winner of the Rice-Prairie View A&M game.
Andrew Walker and Bryan Kervin delivered solo home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give TCU a 3-1 lead. Beamer Weems led off the top of the ninth with his ninth home run of the season, establishing a Baylor single-season record for homers by a shortstop. Weems, who had eight home runs last season as a freshman, previously shared the mark with Jace Brewer (2000) and Steve Macko (1977).
After a Matt Czimskey walk and a Dustin Dickerson fly out, pinch hitter Matt Sodolak singled through the right side to keep Baylor's ninth-inning rally alive. Shaver Hansen was retired on a fly ball to center, and Paul Miles walked to load the bases. Booker battled Demel through an eight-pitch at bat but swung over the top of the game-ending pitch.
Baylor starter Jeff Mandel allowed just two hits through the game's first six innings, but Walker lifted an 0-1 Mandel offering over the right-field wall to snap the 1-1 tie. After Matt Vern flied out to right, Kervin turned on a 2-1 pitch for a round-tripper to left-center.
The two solo homers erased Baylor's rally in the top of the seventh. Trailing 1-0, the Bears got a run on a walk and two hits but failed to capitalize on the opportunity for more runs. Weems walked to lead off the inning and moved to third on Czimskey's single up the middle. Dickerson then scored Weems with an RBI fielder's choice that erased Czimskey at second.
Tim Jackson followed with a hit-and-run single to right that pushed Dickerson to third, giving the Bears runners on the corners with one out. However, TCU closer Sam Demel struck out Shaver Hansen and got Paul Miles to fly out to shallow center, ending the inning.
Mandel (7-8) allowed three runs on four hits and no walks with three strikeouts over 6.1 innings. He allowed a Vern two-out double in the second and a Clint Arnold leadoff single in the sixth; neither scored. Mandel, who was 2-0 with a save in three previous career NCAA Tournament appearances (all in relief), allowed the first runs of his career in NCAA play; his scoreless innings streak stopped at 14.2 innings.
TCU got its first run of the game without the benefit of a hit in the fourth. Steven Trout struck out to lead off the inning but reached on a wild pitch. Trout moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a fly out and scored on Austin Adams' sacrifice fly.
Frogs' starter Jake Arrieta left the game after Weems' leadoff walk in the seventh and did not factor in the decision. Arrieta allowed one run on two hits and four walks with four strikeouts over 6.0-plus innings. Demel (7-1) allowed the inherited runner to score in the seventh and suffered only his third blown save of the season in 16 chances; however, he benefited from the seventh-inning home runs to earn the victory. Demel held the Bears to one run on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts over the final 3.0 innings.
Baylor returns to action Saturday, facing either Prairie View A&M or Rice at 2 p.m. CDT. The Bears have not yet announced a starter.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 133-102; however, TCU leads the series 6-1 in neutral site meetings. The teams have met twice in NCAA Tournament play with each team winning once. ... Baylor suffered its first loss in an opening-round game at an NCAA Regional since falling to Texas State 6-0 at Baylor Ballpark in 2000. The Bears had won five consecutive such games. ... Baylor falls to 32-29 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including a 26-17 mark in regional play. The Bears are 19-14 in neutral-site games in the NCAA Tournament, including a 17-8 mark in the regional round. ... Ben Booker extended his hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff single in the first inning; that matches the longest streak of his career. Weems extended his hitting streak to four games, while Paul Miles saw his career-long six-game run end. ... Dickerson has reached safely in 26 consecutive games. ... Weems committed a fielding error in the fifth inning, just the seventh non-throwing error of his career. Three of those seven fielding errors have taken place at Reckling Park. ... Weems home run was his second in five career NCAA Tournament games.