TCU Wins 2006 MWC Baseball Tournament Title
Horned Frogs defeat BYU, 9-6, in championship game.
May 27, 2006
LAS VEGAS - The top-seeded TCU Horned Frogs (38-21) claimed the 2006 Mountain West Conference Tournament title with their 9-6 victory over the second-seeded BYU Cougars (33-28) Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. TCU became the third team in MWC history to go undefeated on the way to the tournament crown.
With the championship win, the Horned Frogs earn the conference's automatic bid into the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
The contest began well for BYU through its first two innings, but TCU turned the game in its favor with a four-run second inning. The Cougars held a two-run advantage after scoring single runs in the first and second innings, but watched as the Horned Frogs scored four in the bottom of the second to take hold of the contest.
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Jeff Hiestand's run-scoring single in the first and a solo home run by Stetson Banks in the second. Marcos Villezcas scored on Hiestand's base hit.
The Horned Frogs' offense came alive in the second with four runs on four hits. Corey Steglich knocked in TCU's first two runs on a triple to left center. Ryan Pack promptly followed Steglich's extra-base hit with one of his own, but his left the yard. Pack cranked his sixth home run of the season over the right center fence.
BYU got one run back in the third with a blast over the right field fence on Ben Saylor's 21st home run on the year.
After three scoreless innings, TCU put another four-spot on the scoreboard with help from three hits. Bryan Kervin gave the Horned Frogs their fifth run with a single to left to score Andrew Walker. With Walker and Steven Trout on base, Chad Huffman cranked a three-run home run deep to left.
BYU scored two runs in the seventh on back-to-back balls put in play by Villezcas and Saylor, respectively. Casey Nelson scored on Villezcas' ground out, while Stetson Banks came in on Saylor's single.
TCU got its ninth run in the seventh. The run was the first the Horned Frogs scored with less than two outs. Steglich picked up his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to center to score Matt Carpenter.
The Cougars attempted a late rally in the ninth, but only managed to score one run. Back-to-back doubles by Saylor and Hiestand led to the run.
Sam Demel (6-5) picked up the victory in 6.0 innings of work. Demmel allowed five runs on seven hits, while striking out four and walking one.
Matt Jensen (1-6) suffered the loss in 5.2 innings. Jensen gave up eight runs on nine hits. He struck out three and walked two.
2006 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Stetson Banks, 2B, BYU Jeff Hiestand, 1B, BYU Patrick Wells, RHP, BYU Chris Carlson, DH, New Mexico Danny Ray Herrera, LHP, New Mexico Brad Furnish, LHP, TCU Ryan Pack, OF, TCU Andrew Walker, C, TCU Ryan Khoury, SS, Utah Designated Hitter: Steven Trout, TCU Relief Pitcher: Jabe Beard, UNLV Tournament MVP: Chad Huffman, TCU
Game 12 Notes:
TCU, which tallied a 3-0 record in the tournament, is the third team in MWC Tournament history to go undefeated on the way to the tournament title. San Diego State (2000) and UNLV (2003) are the other conference teams to accomplish the feat.
The No. 1 seed is 4-3 all-time in MWC Tournament play, while the No. 2 seed is now 1-4.
TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle won his second MWC Tournament title today, winning his first in 2003 as UNLV's head coach. Schlossnagle is now boasts a 9-2 all-time record in MWC Tournament play.
The winner of Saturday's MWC Championship game earns an automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Overall, the MWC has a 5-10 record in the NCAA Tournament since the league was formed in 1999-2000.
Chad Huffman went 1-for-4 today with a three-run home run. Huffman has now homered in five of his last six games.
TCU scored eight of its nine runs with two outs.
BYU is now 18-12 all-time in the MWC Tournament.
All 25 players on the Cougars' roster have seen action in this year's tournament.