April 2, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Air Force baseball team dropped a tough 3-2 Mountain West Conference ballgame at #15 TCU Saturday at Lupton Stadium. The loss drops the Falcons to 11-16, 0-4, while the Horned Frogs improved to 17-9, 4-1. TCU pushed across two runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally to the win.
Struggling to manufacture runs, the Falcons squandered another stellar starting pitching performance by Sean Carley. The sophomore right-hander held the Horned Frogs to one run on six hits in 7.2 innings pitched, while striking out three. It was his fourth start on the season, and second in a row, where he held the opposition under three runs and failed to get the win.
Carley went toe-to-toe with TCU starting pitcher Matt Purke, a draft-eligible sophomore lefty, projected as a first round pick in this year's upcoming MLB draft. Purke gave up two runs in eight innings pitched, while striking out six. In three career outings vs. Air Force, Purke beat the Falcons just once and zero times in two starts.
Air Force led 1-0 withe a run in the fourth inning. Jon McMahon, who returned to the lineup after missing two weeks with a strained hamstring, led off the inning with a double. He then came around to score on a single by Patrick Lobo and error by the center fielder.
Carley held TCU scoreless through the first seven innings, but allowed a run in the eighth to tie the ballgame up. The Falcons escaped further damage in the inning, as Stephen Colangelo came in and retired a batter to get out the inning without further damage.
The Falcons went right back ahead in the eighth, as McMahon led off the ninth with a solo home run to left field.
TCU then won the game in the ninth as Josh Elander hit a double to knock in Jerome Pena and Kyle Von Tungeln. All three batters reached base for TCU in the ninth.
Colangelo (0-1) took the loss for the Falcons. Frog reliver Andrew Mitchell (2-0) got the win.
The Air Force offense continues to struggle, having scored three or fewer runs over its last six games. The Falcons had six hits in the game, led by McMahon's 2-for-3 performance.
TCU had eight hits in the game. Elander and Taylor Featherston had two hits each for the Horned Frogs.
The series finale is tomorrow at 1 p.m. (CST).