SAN DIEGO -- Bottom-seeded New Mexico defeated top-seed TCU twice, including 4-2 Friday, to win the Mountain West Conference tournament championship.
The Lobos (20-39) earn an automatic trip the NCAA tournament with the tournament title. The Horned Frogs (42-17), ranked No. 10 in the nation by Baseball America, has most likely already earned an at-large bid, but has put their potential NCAA Regional hosting bid in jeopardy with the subpar showing. TCU lost to New Mexico 4-3 in its tournament opener Wednesday at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Frogs defeated BYU Thursday and eliminated Utah earlier Friday with a 14-1 win in which they collected 18 hits. But the Frogs' offense didn't carry over into the night game against the Lobos. Austin House was outstanding on the mound for New Mexico, holding TCU to two runs (1 earned) on eight hits in seven innings. House entered the game with an 0-2 record and 6.97 ERA.
Steven Maxwell started for TCU for the first time since developing biceps soreness April 23. But Maxwell didn't last long. He was replaced in the second inning after New Mexico jumped on him for three runs (2 earned) on three hits and a walk in the first 1 1/3 innings. Freshman Nick Frey replaced Maxwell and rose to the occasion. Frey held the Lobos to one run on five hits in seven innings of relief. Maxwell (5-1) was charged with his first loss of the season.
-- Stefan Stevenson