UNC Wilmington Takes Opener, 7-5
April 5, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - Tyler Molinaro's two-run home run in the ninth inning broke a 5-5 tie and propelled UNC Wilmington to a 7-5 victory over TCU in the series opener on Thursday night. Josh Elander hit his third home run and Jason Coats drove in a pair of runs in the loss.
Stefan Crichton allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Brandon Finnegan gave up a hit and walked one in 2/3 of an inning. Justin Scharf (2-2) surrendered a run on a pair of walks with one strikeout. Kevin Allen gave up a run on a hit and struck out three in his lone inning of work.
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Frogs rallied for three runs to tie the game. Kyle Von Tungeln and Brance Rivera drew walks to open the inning. Coats smoked a ball to deep right center field, driving in both runs to pull the Frogs within one, 5-4. Jantzen Witte tied the game at five with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Frogs had a golden opportunity to take their first lead of the ballgame in the seventh inning as they had runners on the corners with nobody out. Jerrick Suiter singled to center and stole second to open the inning. On a sacrifice attempt by Davy Wright, Suiter slid in ahead of the tag at third and everyone was safe. Seahawk pitcher Kelly Secrest worked out of the jam to keep the game tied.
After a lead-off walk in the ninth, Molinaro came through with a long home run to right field to give the Seahawks a 7-5 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
UNC Wilmington scored single runs in each of the first two innings, but each time the Frogs responded to tie the game. Hunter Ridge singled with two outs in the first to put the Seahawks in front, 1-0. TCU answered as it took advantage of a lead-off triple from Von Tungeln. A double play ball tied the game at one.
In the second a two-base error to open the inning came back to haunt the Frogs as the runner was able to score to put the Seahawks back in front 2-1. With one swing of the bat, Elander got the run back as he drilled the ball over the center field fence for his third home run of the season and a 2-2 game.
A pair of runs in the fourth inning put UNC Wilmington back in front, 4-2. Three straight singles to open the inning turned into the two runs as RBIs from Corey Dick and Michael Bass drove in the go-ahead runs. Dick extended the Seahawk lead to three with a solo home run in the sixth inning.
TCU falls to 14-13 on the season. Game two of the series is set for Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Andrew Mitchell will toe the rubber for the Frogs and face off against the Seahawks' Mat Batts.