Bullpen fuels No. 1 Frogs to 7-2 win over UTA

Sophomore Evan Skoug puts Frogs ahead on a home run against UTA (Photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)

Sophomore Evan Skoug puts Frogs ahead on a home run against UTA (Photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)

By Branson Nelson

The Horned Frogs used six scoreless innings of relief to overcome an early deficit and move to 4-0 on the season for the third time in the Jim Schlossnagle era Tuesday night, defeating the University of Texas at Arlington 7-2.

Senior starting-pitcher Mitchell Traver allowed two first-inning runs, marking the third straight game the Frogs have trailed after one. Traver only managed his way through three innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two on 60 pitches.

After Ryan Merrill cut an early 2-0 UTA lead in half in the third inning on a double that scored Nolan Brown from third, TCU went to freshman Charles King to replace Traver on the mound in the fourth.

King, making his second appearance at the collegiate level, tossed three hitless innings of relief, giving up no runs and striking out three. King has now jump-started his collegiate career with five strikeouts over five scoreless innings.

The Horned Frogs tied it in the fifth after Brown singled and stole his third bag of the game to move into scoring position. He advanced to third on an error before freshman catcher Zach Humphreys drove him in on a sacrifice fly to knot the score, 2-2.

The game was still tied at two when TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle called on freshman Jake Eissler out of the bullpen. Eissler picked up his first career win after throwing 1.1 scoreless innings, working around two hits. Like King, Eissler has begun his career with two scoreless appearances out of the bullpen.

The Frogs waited until the eighth inning before Evan Skoug gave the Frogs their first lead of the night on a two-run home run. Prior to the home run, Skoug was just 1-15 with 11 strikeouts on the season.

Sophomore Durbin Feltman relieved Eissler with two on and one out in the bottom of the eighth. Feltman stranded both runners on base, sending the Frogs to the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead, only to add to their lead. An error, Humphreys’ first collegiate hit and second RBI of the night, and a run-scoring single from Austen Wade gave the Frogs three insurance runs for a 7-2 lead.

In the final frame, Schlossnagle went to sophomore Sean Wymer who struck out the side in order to solidify the five-run win for the Horned Frogs.

No. 1 TCU will welcome the Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1) to Fort Worth for a three-game series this weekend. Jared Janczak (1-0) will head to the mound for game one at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Lupton Stadium.