TCU Baseball found a little Lupton Magic on the road Friday night, using a ninth inning Johnny Rizer home run to battle all the way back from an early 4-0 deficit to tie things at six. Unfortunately for the Frogs, the Sooners were the ones celebrating, when a lead-off walk led to a walk-off run as the Sooners took game one of their three game set 7-6.
Oklahoma struck first, lighting up TCU starter Nick Lodolo for four runs in their first action. Lodolo allowed four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first, hurting his cause with a throwing error and seeing second baseman Austin Henry commit the inning’s second error. The Frogs fought back in the third, scoring three runs with two outs, as Alex Isola and Hunter Wolfe had RBI singles in the frame. But the Sooners got one back in the bottom with a two out double that made it 5-3.
Jake Guenther led off the fifth with a base hit, and TCU loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks. But they were limited to just one run - on a wild pitch - as Conner Shepherd popped up and Isola grounded out to end the frame. Lodolo allowed three hits in the bottom of the inning to jump back in front by two, but Wolfe cut it to a one run lead in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to left center.
Lodolo came back out for the bottom of the sixth and faced two batters, allowing an infield single and striking out his fifth batter of the frame before giving way to Jake Eissler. It was the first hiccup of the season for Lodolo, coming off of Pitcher of the Week honors, as the junior lefty went 5.1 innings, allowing six runs - three earned - on ten hits. He did not walk a single player, but allowed a pair of doubles and wasn’t quite as sharp as he has been to start the season.
Eissler was exceptional until the final frame, holding the Sooners to just one hit through the eighth. That allowed the Frogs to get back in the game, with Johnny Rizer tying things up in the top of the ninth with this solo shot to left:
This home run from Johnny Rizer has extended the game. We head to the bottom of the ninth tied at six. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/43ZwEokgsC— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) April 6, 2019
But Oklahoma wasn’t done, though it’s possible Eissler was. As the junior righty readjusts to life out of the pen, he made have run out of gas, opening the bottom of the ninth by walking the lead off hitter and a bunt single to the second batter he faced in the frame. That put the winning run in scoring position, and Brylie Ware delivered with a base hit to left center to end the ball game.
Next up for the Frogs and Sooners is game two, scheduled for 2:00pm Saturday. TCU will send Charles King to the mound for the matchup.