Brian Howard was dominant on Saturday, as he propelled TCU to an 8-2 win over the Longhorns in game two of the weekend series. Brian Howard was dominant, and the bats stayed hot as the Frogs officially clinch the series. They’ll go for the sweep Sunday afternoon, as Mitchell Traver takes the mound.
TCU carried an 8-0 lead into the ninth inning, but Dalton Brown gave up two runs, allowing Texas to avoid the shutout. Had TCU managed to get the shutout, it would have been the first time this season Texas failed to score in a game.
Meanwhile, the bats broke out again, as TCU put up seven runs against Texas starter Nolan Kingham in two and a third, taking an 8-0 lead after the end of the third inning. Kingham has been great this season, with an ERA just over 2, but the Frogs got to him today. That third inning was huge, as TCU scored seven runs to pull away for good. Here are a few takeaways from today’s game.
Skoug Smash continues as the bats stay hot
Evan Skoug hit his third home run of the weekend, and 12th of the season (most since Jason Coats hit 13 in 2010). Ryan Merrill kept his hot bat going, finishing 2-4 on the day with two RBI. In all, five Frogs recorded an RBI today, as TCU has scored 19 runs in two games on some very good Texas arms. The only Frog starter to not record a hit today was Josh Watson, but he still managed to work three walks and score a run.
It was a great recovery for TCU, after the Frogs blew a five-run lead on Friday night before beating Texas 11-10 in extra innings.
Brian Howard was dealing
Brian Howard looked fantastic. Howard went eight full innings, throwing 114 pitches, and striking out four. He allowed no runs on one hit, just a week after he gave up seven earned runs in just two and a third innings against Texas Tech. The win moves him to 7-3 on the season.
Howard kept Texas off balance all day, with a great mix of his fastball and curve. His location was the biggest key though, and despite four walks, he, for the most part, put the ball where he wanted it all day.
The bullpen struggled again
It was frustrating, though, to see Dalton Brown come out with an eight run lead and struggle. He threw 27 pitches, and he up two runs (one earned), on two hits, and two walks. Barzilli had an error that extended the inning as well, allowing the second run to come across.
Cal Coughlin had to relieve Brown with two outs in the ninth, and he took five pitches to get Austin Todd to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
I’m thankful for Coughlin and Sean Wymer, who seem to be the most reliable arms out of the ‘pen at this point.
Austen Wade took a tumble
A scary moment came in the ninth as well, when Austen Wade went crashing into the fence down the first base line, trying to catch a foul ball to end the game. He slid into the wall, but hit it hard. He rolled over on the ground for a minute, as the training staff got out to check on him. He was shaken up, but he remained in the game.