TCU Clinches Co-Mountain West Championship
May 20, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Brett Johnson had a career-high four hits, including his first home run of the season, while TCU turned a single-game school record five double plays in a 10-2 victory over San Diego State Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium, giving the Horned Frogs a share of the Mountain West championship.
TCU, in its final season in the MW before moving to the Big 12, won the outright league title in its first six seasons in the league.
TCU (35-17, 18-6) and San Diego State (24-32, 12-12) will meet again Thursday at 5 p.m. CDT in an opening game of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. The Frogs will be seeded second with the Aztecs third.
Johnson was just a triple shy of the cycle. His 2-run shot down the right-field line capped a three-run fifth inning to give the Horned Frogs an 8-2 lead.
Kevin Cron had his second straight 3-hit game as the Horned Frogs totaled 12 hits today and 28 over the final two games of the series.
TCU turned a double play in each of the opening four innings. The record-breaking fifth double play of the game helped TCU escape a bases loaded, no-out jam in the sixth inning. After entering the game, Horned Frog reliever Justin Scharf induced a comebacker from Dillon Bryant. Scharf threw home for the first out, before Josh Elander fired to first to complete the double play. Scharf then struck out Evan Potter to end the inning.
Stefan Crichton (7-2), making his team-high 15th start, went five innings for the victory. The sophomore from Katy, Texas, allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits while striking out one and not walking a batter.
A bases-loaded two-run single by senior Brance Rivera, playing his final home game, gave TCU a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Rivera plated Cron and Johnson who both reached base via one-out singles before Derek Odell walked to load the bases.
The Horned Frogs broke the game open with a three-run fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead as Cron and Johnson again got things started. Cron led off the inning with a single before advancing to third on Johnson's double to right. Odell then followed with his third triple of the season, a shot down the right-field line to plate Cron and Johnson to extend TCU's lead to 4-1. One out later, Keaton Jones singled up the middle to score Odell and make it a 5-1 game.
Odell extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while Jones had two hits in the contest.
Aztec starter TJ Kendzora (0-3) went three innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits, and took the loss.
Four of the five runs by the Aztecs in the series came in the first inning.