TCU managed to win a game by six runs today and still make me feel super nervous for most of the evening. Early on we were getting good pitching from starter Haylen Green, but TCU wasn’t taking advantage of said pitching and left three men on base through the first two innings. That was concerning for two reasons: Green wasn’t expected to go deep and UT Arlington was getting really, really good pitching.
It was fitting though, that Skoug seemed to first begin to break out of his early-season slump with a home run against UT Arlington in February, and hit his 15th home run of the season today against the Mavericks. Both home runs were for multiple runs and both broke open scoreless games, eventually securing wins for the Frogs. Oh, yeah, and it was a grand slam.
Going into the sixth UT Arlington’s starting pitcher, Vassar, was cruising and had thrown just 63 pitches through five. TCU was already on to Trey Morris at that point, and it felt like any minute somebody was going to break through for one side or the other. Sometimes it just takes one little thing going your way, and the Frogs have had plenty not bounce their way over the past month.
Landestoy struck out to open up the sixth inning, but the ball got away from the catcher on a wild pitch which allowed Landestoy to reach base. After that, Austen Wade, who was 3 of 4 on the night with one run scored, reached base on a chopper in the hole between first and second on a hop that just missed they outstretched glove of the second baseman. Wanhanen followed that up by laying down a perfect bunt for a single to load the bases with no outs.
Three little things went TCU’s way, followed by one big one. The wind was blowing in hard tonight at about 20 mph, but that didn’t make a lick of difference as Skoug still managed to put one up on the third tier in the outfield to give TCU a 4-0 lead. I honestly don’t know what the most home runs by a TCU hitter has been during Schlossnagle’s tenure, but Skoug has got to be closing in on that number. Two more runs would score for the Frogs that inning and the game made it to the ninth with TCU still up 6-0.
The Frogs had to make us nervous one more time before they were finished though. After TCU gave up huge leads to Oklahoma multiple times last weekend, no lead feels safe. Dalton Brown came on to pitch the ninth gave up a hit, a walk, hit a batter and forced a groundout to load the bases with one out in the ninth. Coughlin came on to settle things down, but not before the Mavericks got an RBI sac fly to break the shutout and make it 6-1.
With two outs UTA loaded the bases again, but grounded out to Barzilli at third in the next at-bat who stepped on third base to end the game. The win puts TCU’s record at 37-13 on the year, meaning that they can reach their goal of 40 wins with a sweep of Cal this weekend. Get hot in the Big 12 tournament and maybe the national seed is still in play. Time will tell, but at least tonight was a good time.