Frogs drop 2 of 3 at OU, clinch share of Big 12 title


Michael Clements/TCU Media Relat

TCU Baseball at Texas Tech at Rip Griffin Park on the TTU campus in Lubbock, Texas on April 28, 2017. Photos by Michael Clements.

By Branson Nelson

In a wild back-and-forth series, the Horned Frogs lost two of three games on walk-off hits to Oklahoma in Norman over the weekend.

The series saw TCU take game one, clinching a share of the Big 12 Conference. The Frogs can win the title outright if Texas Tech loses one game in its series with Kansas starting May 19.

After losing on back-to-back walk offs Saturday and Sunday, the Frogs dropped to 36-13 overall and 16-8 in conference play.

The offense was the bright spot as the Frogs outscored the Sooners 26-25 over the series, hitting .288 and averaging nearly nine runs per game.

Likely the biggest loss of the series was Luken Baker’s injury in game one. Baker hurt his left arm as he caught a ball thrown to him at first base. Baker reached into the base path and collided with an Oklahoma baserunner. Baker is expected to miss a significant amount of time.


Friday’s game started well for the Frogs, as TCU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on RBIs from Baker and Evan Skoug. Pitcher Nick Lodolo held OU scoreless through the first four innings, keeping the Frogs’ lead at two heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The Sooners picked up two runs off Lodolo on two hits and an error in the fifth, evening the score.

The teams traded runs in the sixth, as Elliott Barzilli picked up a two-out hit to score Skoug who had started the inning with a double. OU scored a two-out run of its own in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at three.

After going quietly in the top of the seventh, the Frogs sent Lodolo back to the mound. The first two batters of the inning both picked up extra-base hits, pushing OU ahead 4-3. Lodolo then picked up an out but a walk chased him from the game.

Lodolo ended up going 6.1 innings giving up seven hits and four runs, though just two of the runs were earned. He also struck out three while walking one.

The Frogs soared back in front 6-4 with three runs in the top of the eighth. Consecutive RBI doubles from Skoug and Cam Warner followed later in the inning by a run-scoring passed ball, putting the Frogs in good position heading to the bottom half of the inning.

OU jumped back into the game with two runs off of Sean Wymer to make it 6-6, but the Frogs tacked on three in the ninth to create the final score of 9-6. Ryan Merrill picked up the take-the-lead RBI while Nolan Brown and Evan Williams tacked on insurance runs.

Durbin Feltman picked up his 12th save with a scoreless ninth inning.


Saturday’s game seemed in hand, as a first inning home run from Skoug and a three-run third inning put the Frogs ahead 4-0. Brian Howard got the start on the mound and allowed only two hits through the first five innings.

OU stormed back in the sixth though against Howard, as the Sooners scored three runs on two hits, an error and two walks.

The Frogs answered with three of their own in the seventh as an error and a two-run double by Merrill put TCU in front 7-3.

OU cut the lead in half with a double and a homer off Howard, making the score 7-5. Howard went 6.1 innings allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks. Five of the seven hits off Howard went for extra bases.

The Sooners picked up another run in the bottom of the eighth off Cal Coughlin to pull within one.

TCU added an insurance run in the ninth to make the score 8-6, but stranded two runners in scoring position, which proved to be costly.

Pitching for the second straight day, closer Durbin Feltman allowed a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth that ended the game 9-8, OU.


In yet another back-and-forth contest, the Frogs fell behind 7-0 through three innings as Mitchell Traver struggled from the start. Traver went just 2.1 innings giving up six runs on five hits and two walks.

TCU scored four runs in the top of the fourth to pull within three. Both Josh Watson and Merrill picked up single RBIs while Michael Landestoy drove in two in the inning.

OU added an eighth run in the bottom of the fourth before the Frogs scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth to go in front 9-8. Skoug hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his second of the series and 14th of the season, while Watson drove in his second run of the day in the fifth too. Zach Humphreys picked up his second homer of the season in the sixth to put the Frogs ahead.

OU tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and won the game in the ninth on a walk-off single to give the Sooners the series.

The Frogs return to action with their final regular season home game at 6:30 Tuesday night against the University of Texas at Arlington, before heading west for a three-game series over the weekend against the University of California at Berkley.