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TCU beats LSU in Shriners College Classic, 9-6

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The top-ranked Frogs beat No. 4 LSU in a very good baseball game.

Evan Skoug

TCU baseball improved to 8-1 on the season with a 9-6 win of No. 4 LSU. It was a great start to the Shriners Classic for TCU, who still has to face Texas A&M and Ole Miss, both of whom are ranked in the Top 15 nationally.

The Frogs were led by Luken Baker, Evan Skoug, and a whole bevy of other Frogs, as TCU totaled 12 hits on the evening. Skoug went 4-5 on the night, leading the Frogs in multiple innings, while Baker went 2-for-5, with a huge home run, and a double that turned into another run.

TCU jumped all over LSU’s starter, forcing him to throw 28 pitches in the first inning. A Josh Watson double pushed Barzilli across, giving TCU a 1-0 lead. The Frogs had several opportunities to push a few more runs across, but couldn’t make it happen.

Meanwhile, LSU got to Brian Howard early, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first and taking what felt like a commanding lead. The hot LSU bats saw some bloop singles fall, before a ground ball single pushed the first runs across. Then, an LSU double off the wall in left gave the Tigers their three run lead.

It was short-lived, though, as TCU hit two home runs in the top of the second to reclaim the lead. Austen Wade hit a shot to right field, plating Ryan Merrill and Connor Wanhanen, tying up the game and bringing the strong TCU contingency to its feet. The, after Skoug worked a two-out single, Luken Baker stepped to the plate. He annihilated a pitch, sending it to the left field stands, putting TCU up 6-4, as the Frog fans rose out of their seats.

The third inning went without much action, but in the top of the fourth, with two outs, Evan Skoug hit a ground ball up the middle, which was bobbled by LSU’s second baseman. Connor Wanhanen tried to score from second base, but was gunned down at the plate to end the inning. LSU went down relatively quietly in their half of the fourth, as Howard worked around a two-out double to turn things back over to the Frog bats.

In the fifth, TCU added to their lead thanks to some savvy base running by Nolan Brown and a bloop single from Cam Warner. Howard continued his groove and put up a fourth consecutive zero for LSU in the bottom of the inning.

TCU added to their lead again in the sixth, thanks to a two-out single from Skoug, which scored Barzilli from second base. Barzilli had advanced to second on a pitch in the dirt during the at bat.

The seventh and eighth passed with no incidents, and TCU carried their 8-4 lead all the way into the top of the ninth, when Luken Baker stepped up to the plate. Having struck out three times, in addition to his home run, Baker roped a pitch down the left field line for a double. He then advanced to third on a pitch in the dirt, and scored when the catcher threw the ball into left field.

LSU worked hard to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, as they pushed two runs across, but eventually King got Romero to ground out to Merrill to end the game.

Howard and King were the two pitchers for TCU on the night, with Howard getting the win, and King getting the save.

TCU faces Texas A&M on Saturday night for game two. Check out postgame interviews with Schloss and Skoug below.