June 8, 2012
Around the Super Regionals
Super Regional Scores & Capsules
Super Regional Notes
Bruins Use Big Inning to Bounce
By Abbey Mastracco
ANGELES -- As the last out fell at Jackie Robinson Stadium
Friday night, the score was brought to TCU head coach Jim
Schlossnagle's attention. The Horned Frogs had just fallen to
No. 2 national seed UCLA 6-2, but bullpen catcher Al Ralston
reminded Schlossnagle that exactly one week ago, the Horned
Frogs came out on the same end of another 6-2 contest against
TCU then won four straight, eliminating the
Rebels just five days ago in College Station, Texas.
The numbers were also not lost on UCLA head coach
John Savage, whose Bruin squad came back from two early home
runs to win with a big five-run sixth inning. The road to Omaha
is a long grind, where one series opener can sometimes be
Which is why neither Schlossnagle nor Savage is
panicking just yet.
no celebration; it's one game," Savage (left) said. "You can't
take anything for granted."
In front of a packed crowd of 2,042, it looked as
though two different ball games were played: One in which the
Horned Frogs (40-21) came out swinging, and one in which they
were effectively slugged by the Bruins (46-14).
TCU starter Brandon Finnegan (4-5) cruised
through the first five innings, benefiting from two early solo
home runs by Josh Elander and Kyle Von Tungeln. Finnegan, a
freshman making just his second career postseason start, gave up
just one earned run until running into trouble in the sixth.
"The reason we started Finnegan in the game
tonight was that I thought he was the best available pitcher
that had the best match-up against UCLA," Schlossnagle said.
"But solo homers don't normally beat you."
The Horned Frogs nearly had a third solo shot in
the top of the sixth, when Cody Keefer made an amazing leaping
grab at the wall to rob Jerrick Suiter. The defense gave the
Bruins the spark they needed to turn the game in their favor.
Still trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the frame,
the Bruins got their first two men on when Tyler Heineman walked
and Keefer was hit by a pitch. Finnegan was then replaced by
Justin Scharf, who beaned Jeff Gelalich to load the bases with
no outs. Trevor Brown then singled to the gap in right-center to
even the game at 2-2.
After an RBI groundout by Pat Valaika
(right) gave UCLA
the lead, pinch-hitter Brenton Allen was intentionally walked to
load the bases, setting the table for Cody Regis with only one
Regis, a .500 hitter with a .900 slugging
percentage and a home run in three games against the Horned
Frogs (all during the 2010 College World Series), delivered the
key hit the Bruins were looking for and the Horned Frogs feared.
"Regis wore us out in Omaha and he got the big
hit today," Schlossnagle said.
Regis drove Scharf's offering back to the wall in
left-center, clearing the bases to give UCLA a 6-2 lead.
then took back over, retiring the Horned Frogs in order in the
seventh. David Berg then took the ball in the eighth,
striking out four of the six batters he faced.
"He has a lot of movement on his fastball," Von
Tungeln said. "He throws it up at your upper thigh then it just
drops off into the dirt."
"You just know what you're getting with Berg,"
Savage said. "That guy is just a rock."
Regis finished 1 for 4 with three RBI. Brown
helped the Bruins, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs.
Elander was the only Horned Frog with a multi-hit
game, going 2 for 4 his 11th home run.
TCU will now attempt to regroup in the same manor
it was forced to one week ago. While the position is not ideal,
it's also not impossible.
"We feel that our club is a grinder, blue-collar
type of team that plays well with our backs against the wall,"
Schlossnagle said. "We feel like we're right where we want to
(action photos by Don Liebig/UCLA)