June 23, 2010

Game 9 Notes

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Rally Turtle helps Horned Frogs eliminate Seminoles

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – It was the thriller fans in Omaha were waiting to see.


A grand slam by Matt Curry (left) highlighted an eight-run eighth as TCU rallied past Florida State 11-7 Wednesday evening in Game 9 of the 2010 College World Series in front of 22,541 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Horned Frogs (53-13) will face UCLA on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. TCU would have to beat the Bruins once on Friday and again on Saturday to advance to the championship series.


Florida State finished its season with a 48-20 mark.


TCU trailed 7-3 after seven innings. One of the players drew something in the dirt prior to the eighth.


“That was our rally turtle,” said catcher Bryan Holaday. “We were basically digging in the toolbox, trying to find something to energize the dugout, trying to get everybody into the game and realize that it wasn’t over yet, we could still fight back.”


“We were feeding him, giving him water and everything,” said Curry. “He got us that rally. You’ll probably see it again.”


Jantzen Witte reached on an error to start the rally and scored on a fielder’s choice by Brance Rivera. Holaday had a RBI double off the wall in left with two outs to make it 7-5. He made a slick slide at second to avoid the tag.


“I was thinking two all the way,” Holaday said, “trying to get the tying run in scoring position and the throw beat me there. And that’s part of TCU Baseball is taking pride in the small things like sliding. Coach [Randy] Mazey, our base running coach, has done a terrific job with everybody on working on sliding, just in case you got in that moment, and it paid off for me.”


Jason Coats walked to load the bases. Matt Curry crushed a grand slam to center to give the Frogs their first lead of the game at 9-7.


“Definitely the biggest home run of my career,” Curry said. “When I hit it, I knew it was gone.”


Josh Elander had a pinch-hit single before Witte went deep to push the TCU lead to 11-7.


“Amazing game,” said TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle. “Some things happened in that inning that we pride ourselves on: Rivera beating out the double play ball, Holaday’s hit and great slide at second base, and Coats laying off the 3-2 breaking ball to get Matt to the plate was outstanding.”


The Seminoles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame for Sherman Johnson and Mike McGee, the pair which homered in the first. Johnson struck out swinging for the second out. McGee, who surrendered the grand slam to Curry in the top of the inning, hit a soft liner to second to end the threat.


Johnson and McGee hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the first as the Seminoles took the early 2-0 lead.


The Frogs fought back with a pair in the top of the third. Aaron Schultz reached on an error and scored on an error, and Curry added a run-scoring single as TCU tied it at 2.


FSU reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the frame as James Ramsey had a run-scoring triple with two outs and came home on a base hit by Stephen Cardullo as the Seminoles took a 4-2 lead.


In the fifth, Cardullo had a sacrifice fly and Jayce Boyd ripped a two-run double as Florida State built a 7-2 advantage.


Jerome Pena pounds a one-out homer in the top of the seventh and TCU gets two on with two outs, but pinch-hitter Kyle Von Tungeln strikes out looking to keep FSU on top 7-3.


Curry finished with a career-high five RBI for the Frogs. Witte had three hits, two runs and two RBI.


Johnson had three hits and three runs, while Cardullo added three hits and two RBI for FSU.

(photos courtesy of TCU Media Relations Office)