May 29, 2004
Kyle Dahlberg's one out-single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Shelby Ford for the winning run as No. 4 seed TCU stunned No. 5 seed Houston by a final of 5-4 to on Saturday (May 29) night in the semifinals of the 2004 Conference USA Baseball Tournament, presented by Sterling Bank, at Cougar Field. TCU improves to 37-24 on the year, while Houston falls to 30-29.
TCU handed the previously undefeated Cougars their first loss of the double-elimination tournament to force the second game between the two teams. With the win, TCU advances to the championship game set for Sunday afternoon.
Houston came out and scored three quick runs in the first. With two outs, Cole Bruce singled up the middle and Rob Johnson doubled to left, and Kevin Roberts followed with a single to center to score both runners. Roberts then advanced to second on a balk before Thanos Papavasiliou singled him home.
The Cougars added another run in the second when Stuart Musslewhite doubled to left and Stewart knocked him in on a double down the left field line.
The Horned Frogs broke the shutout with a solo run in their half of the second on two-out a solo bomb to left by Chris Neuman.
Houston carried a 4-1 lead until TCU pulled to within one in the bottom of the seventh. Chad Huffman led off with a single to left and Austin Adams, who had belted a grand slam in the first game of the day, followed with a home run over the left field fence on a 1-2 pitch.
With one out in the eighth and Brandon Roznovsky on the mound for the Cougars, Ramon Moses doubled to center field. After Moses advanced to third on a groundout by Bo Cogbill, Huffman singled to center to drive Moses home.
Ford led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to short, and after Neuman grounded out for the first out, Dahlberg laced a single up the middle to score TCU's winning run.
Eugene Espinelli, who was the fourth TCU pitcher to see action in the game, pitched two innings of hitless ball to earn the win and improve to 9-4 on the year. Starter Omar Arif saw just two-third of an inning, allowing three runs on five hits.
Roznovsky relieved Houston starter Matt Varner in the seventh and suffered the loss, dropping to 2-4 on the season. Varner allowed three runs on six hits and fanned five, while Roznovsky gave up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.
The Horned Frogs will play Southern Miss for the C-USA Tournament Championship title on Sunday, May 30, at 1:00 p.m.