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TCU evens series with Fullerton

FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 23, 2008) – An impressive effort on the mound from three TCU pitchers helped the Horned Frogs even the series against No. 14 Cal State Fullerton. Steven Maxwell tossed seven strong innings and was backed up with solid efforts from Tyler Lockwood and Andrew Cashner to lock down the 4-2 victory. The Frog offense took advantage of Titan errors to score three unearned runs.

The Frogs wasted no time jumping out to an early 2-0 lead as they led wire-to-wire in the contest. Clint Arnold reached on an error by Titan third baseman Joel Weeks and advanced to second on a Ben Carruthers sacrifice bunt.

Matt Vern wasted no time as he laced a single to left field and Arnold raced around third, scoring easily for the 1-0 lead. On the throw to the plate, Vern went to second to put himself in scoring position. Matt Carpenter grounded out to the right side allowing Vern to move to third where he scored on a wild pitch, sliding in just under the tag from Titan starter, Cory Arbiso (0-1).

Meanwhile, on the mound, Maxwell took control of the game early as he limited the Titans to just four base runners in the first five innings. Following a one-out single in the second, Maxwell set down nine straight batters and 13-of-14, helping the Frogs build a 4-0 lead.

The Frogs squandered two glorious opportunities in the third and fourth innings to add to their lead. In the third, TCU had two on with no out, but couldn’t get the big hit as Arbiso retired three straight to end the frame. A one-out rally that saw two straight batters reach base in the fourth also went by the wayside as the Titans worked out of the jam.

TCU finally capitalized in the fifth inning as they put up two runs on two hits and a costly passed ball. Carruthers started the one-out rally with a sharply hit single up the middle. Vern followed with a base knock to left, moving Carruthers to third. Vern stole second easily and catcher Dustin Garneau misplayed an Arbiso pitch and it sailed to the backstop, allowing Carruthers to score easily from third. Carpenter delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Vern with the fourth run of the game.

The Titans finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth inning as they tallied two runs with two outs on an Erik Komatsu home run to right field. Maxwell collected himself and got Jared Clark to ground out to end the inning.

Lockwood came on in the eighth and retired the side in order as did Cashner in the ninth to seal the Horned Frog victory. With his scoreless inning of work, Cashner earned his first career save.

Maxwell tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five.

The Frogs will go for the series win Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Lupton Stadium. Freshman Greg Holle will take the mound for the Horned Frogs for his first collegiate start.

Game Notes:

* Aaron Schultz collected his first career base hit, an infield single in the seventh inning.
* Clint Arnold has now hit safely in nine straight games, dating back to last season.
* The Horned Frogs improved to 19-28 all-time against ranked opponents under Jim Schlossnagle.
* The Frogs are 42-0 when leading after eight innings in the last two seasons.
* Saturday’s attendance of 2,197 is the ninth largest crowd in Lupton Stadium history.

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