TCU Baseball got another stellar performance from Nick Lodolo Friday night as they got off to a strong start in their second conference series of the season. The junior lefty went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits - both unearned - while striking out eight and walking just one. Lodolo dropped his ERA to a scant 1.13, good for third best in the conference, while he leads in strikeouts with 63 on the season.
The Frogs got plenty of run support behind their ace, striking for seven runs on ten hits, starting with the third three-run shot of the season for short stop Adam Oviedo, who went yard with two on and two out in the bottom of the second to get TCU out to a 3-0 lead. After Hunter Wolfe scored in the third, the Frogs got two more runs with two outs in the fourth, as Oviedo took advantage of a high fly that got lost in the lights for a double and Bobby Goodloe continued his solid start with an RBI single.
An error in the seventh with the bases load got the goose egg off the board for the Cowboys, but a solo shot in the bottom of the inning off the bat of Josh Watson led to more breathing room. TCU would need it, too, as the Pokes got two more in the eighth off of Cal Coughlin, who walked a pair, balked a runner over, and allowed a double to make it 7-4. Marcelo Perez pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year, inducing a fly ball to lead off the inning and striking out the final two batters he faced to secure the win.
He would not be quite as sharp Saturday though, as a furious rally fell short when the Frogs’ freshman closer allowed a pair of solo shots in the top of the ninth and TCU couldn’t do anything with a one out walk in the bottom of the frame, falling 7-6 to even the series.
It was all Cowboys early, as Oklahoma State scored three in the top of the second off of Haylen Green, making his first weekend start of the season, Green took the mound in place of Jake Eissler, who has struggled since moving from the pen to the rotation. All three runs came via the long ball - as OSU hit two of their game high five home runs Saturday afternoon. Eissler came on in relief, and looked more like the pitcher who started the year, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks in four innings of work. The pen kept the Pokes off the board until the eighth, allowing TCU to get back in the ball game. In fact, TCU took the lead in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice with the help of three walks after Goodloe’s base hit to lead off the frame.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle used four pitchers to get the final ten outs, despite the first two pitching well. Augie Mihlbauer reliever Eissler, and got two quick outs after allowing a lead off single in the seventh. He was pulled with a runner on first for Dalton Brown, who allowed the runner to take second on a steal and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, but settled in to strikeout Garcia and end the threat. After allowing a single to start the eighth, Schloss pulled Brown in favor of Charles King, who surrendered back to back hits with two down to allow the Cowboys to tie things up at five a piece.
Goodloe’s one out walk preceded singles by Wolfe and Guenther, and the freshman scored to put the Horned Frogs back on top. The lead was short lived, though, as Perez - pitching for the first time on back to back days in his career - gave up a solo shot to lead off the ninth and a one out homer to right center with one out to put OSU back in front for good.
The Frogs will have a chance to take the series this afternoon, though, as they turn to Brandon Williamson for their 2:00pm start. They will be celebrating Jackie Robinson day at Lupton, with special touches throughout the game and a commemorative ball available to the first 250 fans.