TCU baseball rallies past UT Arlington with slump-busting Skoug homer – Fort Worth Star Telegram
Evan Skoug admitted he had never experienced anything like his 1-for-15 start to the season.
“I was getting a little frustrated,” the veteran TCU hitter said. “That’s probably the longest I’ve gone with that many strikeouts.”
Now his season includes a home run. His two-run drive to left field in the eighth inning broke a tie and sent the No. 1 Horned Frogs to a 7-2 victory at UT Arlington before a Clay Gold Ballpark-record 2,008 on Tuesday night.
Skoug’s drive carried just over the fence and gave the Frogs (4-0) a 4-2 lead. For him, it broke a 1-for-15 stretch with 11 strikeouts.
“I just trusted in the process, fed off the energy and positivity of my teammates,” he said. “Winning a ballgame is all that matters at the end of the day, but it really felt good to get that one of my shoulders and off my chest.”
It felt great for me, but way better for him. I lose sleep over a lot of things, but whether Evan Skoug is going to hit or not is not one of them.
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle, on Evan Skoug’s tie-breaking home run
TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said he never doubted Skoug would come through at some point.
“It felt great for me, but way better for him,” he said. “I lose sleep over a lot of things, but whether Evan Skoug is going to hit or not is not one of them. We have full confidence in him. It actually is a good thing for his long-term career to try and find his way out of this thing. If he’s lucky, he’ll get a chance to experience it a lot more over the course of the next 15 years.”
Freshman right-hander Jake Eissler (1-0) won with 1 1/3 innings of relief. He exited after a one-out single put two runners on in the eighth inning. Durbin Feltman got a double play on a flyout and throw-out at the plate after surrendering a single to load the bases.
TCU padded its lead with three runs in the ninth inning.
UT Arlington (2-3), playing its fifth game in five days, led 2-0 in the first inning against Mitchell Traver but was held to three hits over the final six innings by relievers Charles King, Eissler, Feltman and Sean Wymer.
This is the third season TCU has started 4-0 under coach Jim Schlossnagle, joining 2010 and 2015.
“If he’s safe, it’s 4-3, and we’re still hitting,” UT Arlington coach Darrin Thomas said, thinking of the double play that cut down Phil Berthiaume to end the eighth inning. “But you never know. That’s why TCU is so good. They hang with you, hang with you, hang with you. The thing about them is their arms are so good coming out of the bullpen. If you get a chance and don’t take advantage of it, you might not get another chance.”
The Mavericks led 2-0 after the first inning by taking advantage of an error in center field and Brady Cox’s RBI single.
The Frogs tied it with runs in the third and fifth innings built on the running game of Nolan Brown. The senior center fielder singled in the third inning and stole second and third, scoring on Ryan Merrill’s double. In the fifth inning, Brown singled, stole second and took third on a throwing error then scored on a pop to shallow left center by Zach Humphreys.
King pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Traver, who went three innings and gave up one earned run on three hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Schlossnagle said Traver hadn’t pitched in 10 days and will be sharper in his next outing.
Eissler pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving in the eighth inning after Quintin Rohrbaugh singled with one out to put runners at first and second in a 4-2 game.
Feltman entered for TCU, gave up a single to load the bases, then got a double play on a flyout when Austen Wade cut down Berthiaume trying to score from third. Humphreys made the tag after Berthiaume swung wide to avoid Humphreys’ block of the plate.